TUNIS (Afrobasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Tunisian basketball is in the clouds.
That's what happens when a national team goes on the type of run Adel Tlati's has the last four summers.
The Tunisians captured an Afrobasket 2009 bronze medal to gain a place in the 2010 FIBA World Championship, where they took on sides like Team USA, Brazil, Slovenia and Iran.
In 2011, Tunisia travelled to Madagascar and led by center Salah Mejri, captured the Afrobasket title to earn a spot in the Olympics for the first time.
At the London Games, Tunisia again played against top-level competition, facing Nigeria, the United States, Argentina, France and Lithuania.
The Tunisians want to continue playing against the best teams in international hoops and to do that, they must qualify for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.
They will attempt to do that at this year's Afrobasket in Cote d'Ivoire.
Long before the defending champions start their preparations on the 13th of May, Tlatli will attend the NBA All-Star Game in the United States.
He will then enhance his knowledge in the sport by spending a couple of weeks (18 February to 2 March) in Durham, North Carolina, observing and working with the staff of Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski in American college basketball.
Coach K, who has led Team USA since 2006 and last summer steered the side to a second straight Olympic gold medal, invited Tlatli to Duke after their respective national sides squared off at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Istanbul.
Krzyzewski had spoken highly of Tunisia after their meeting, saying: "When countries are trying to get better and they need money and support … what Coach (Tlatli) and his team have done is they have given a reason for somebody to support them...
"I think that’s the biggest thing that Tunisia won here is the respect and hopefully the respect of the people who will give them the support that’s needed to improve their programs..."
Once the two-and-a-half month build-up for the Afrobasket is underway for Tunisia, the national side will be extremely busy.
The team will participate in the Islamic Games in Indonesia, which gets underway 6 June.
Tunisia will then take part in the Mediterranean Games, an event that begins 18 June in Turkey, and later the Stankovic Cup in China.
In the final month before the Afrobasket, Tunisia will host an international friendly tournament and also tour Europe.
Mohamed Dhifallah, who played for Tunisia at the World Championship but was not in the squad the last two summers, is expected to return.
There continue to be concerns about one of Tunisia's best players, French-born point guard Marouan Kechrid.
The 1.78m playmaker is still battling muscular problems that limited him to just two games at the Olympics.