It did not take Amagou long to become the coach’s lieutenant on the court last summer at the FIBA Africa Championship, after which he ended with the unofficial status of “All-Africa 1st team” member.
Of all the players Coach Randoald Dessarzin had taken with him to Libya, Amagou was by far the most experienced.
With the French club of Le Mans, where he originally developed, Pape-Philippe won all the national competitions including the Pro A championship in 2006.
The following season, at the age 21, he spent some quality minutes in the Euroleague.
In 2008, he repeated as a French champion with Nancy, before putting himself to the test in the tough Greek league with Kavala, where he strengthened his mental approach.
During 2009-10 in Roanne, after US star guard Ralph Mims was sidelined for the rest of the season, Amagou was promoted to the starting line-up with the shooting duties and more than lived up to expectations.
He played so well that he may have convinced his coach to grant him the starting spot for this upcoming season.
He was also a Pro A All-Star twice.
At the Africa Championship, he led Ivory Coast in scoring (11.4ppg), thanks to his solid shooting (17-for-42 from the three-point line).
He got better and better and was the undisputed leader in the elimination games (15 points and 3 rebounds against Senegal in quarter-finals, then 12 points against Cameroon and eventually 18 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in the final game against Angola).
Amagou is what is called a “combo guard”. He can play the point guard spot, create for team-mates and set the tempo or alternatively, he can carry the scoring burden at the shooting guard spot which he has never been afraid of doing.
For years, not having a specific position on the court had been a problem for Philippe but not anymore now that the “combo guard” position has become the main weapon for the coach.
His size could be a problem on defence but Amagou can guard a 1.95m player and make his life miserable, thanks to his quick feet and great sense of anticipation.
Although he was born and raised in France and played for the French U16, U18 and U20 national teams (and even for an unofficial “B Team”), Amagou is a true son of Africa.
His father is from Ivory Coast and his mother from Senegal.
He always takes his role with the ‘Elephants’ very seriously.
Philippe is a very talkative and clever man, very professional, always concerned with team chemistry and the game-plan - when he enters the court, he is a warrior.