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How to manage the “disappointment” of always playing in France when we are promised a bright future in the NBA?

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They are beautiful, they are tall, they are young, they are athletic. It could be the cast of the future election of Mister France. But, no, these are the next faces of France in the NBA. Finally, we hope so. In the tradition of Tony Parker, Nico Batum, Evan Fournier, our beautiful French championship, which still has no broadcaster, let us remember, sends a few emissaries across the Atlantic to give basketball lessons every year. “Proof of the quality of French training”, rejoices Laurent Legname, trainer of Bourg-en-Bresse.

Although spotted by dozens of scouts, desired by the majority of General Managers, our “little tricolors” sometimes have to stay tuned in BetClic Elite before dunking at the AT&T Center. Between frustration and a necessary step for evolution before crossing the Atlantic, illustration with three prospects who could be talked about in the coming years in the NBA.

  • Juhann Begarin, already drafted by the Celtics, but still in Paris

He is the only Frenchman to have been drafted this year. In the second round (his contract is not guaranteed), Juhann Begarin was chosen by the Boston Celtics. But the Guadeloupe will not play immediately at TD Garden. The Green and White preferred that he harden one more season at Paris Basket. “There is always a bit of disappointment, because my primary objective was to play this year in the NBA,” explained Begarin before the start of the season. But, on the other hand, it gives me an extra year to prepare. “

> The continuation: After a very busy summer with flights to the United States and work-outs, Juhann Begarin had a complicated start to the season with the Paris Basket, which had just been promoted. In terms of stats, the 19-year-old back has remained on the basis of his previous season: 9.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.8 assists on average. More will have to be done to impress the C’s staff. “I have contact with them and they will come to see me several times during the season,” says Begarin. I regularly chat with some people who give me the line to follow. Now I just know that I have to improve and become the best player I can be. “

> The risk: Believe yourself already arrived. “We must be able to take a step back on these things,” indicates the Monegasque Yakuba Ouattara, passed very stealthily by the Brooklyn Nets before returning to France. It’s all well and good to project yourself, but you have to live in the present moment. First, you have to produce in the field and the rest will come naturally. A full season with Paris, individual stats of sick and Paul Pierce will be only a distant memory for Celtics fans.

  • Victor Wembanyama, the meteorite who can be the first choice of the draft
Victor Wembanyama in the jersey of Asvel. – Philippe Desmazes / AFP

Never has a French player aroused so much expectation. All NBA scouts have drooling lips when they mention Victor Wembanyama, 17, 2.19 m. If, because of the age limit (19 years) imposed by the American League, the pivot of Asvel can not yet appear in the Draft, he is already predicted to have a golden future and first place for the draft. 2023. Negative point, it can send him to the worst teams in the League, like Cleveland or Orlando.

> The continuation: For the moment, the new player of Asvel, who will discover the Euroleague, has had very little playing time. Blame it on an illness caught during the LNB Media Day at the end of September. While waiting to find the floor, VW already has an idea of ​​his career plan: “I do not know the NBA level, but I know that I have to improve a lot of things before reaching it. I will do things gradually, it will go more or less quickly. The NBA is not even a close goal. “

> The risk: Don’t cut corners. “Victor is still young, he is a unique and atypical player, exceptional for his age, recognizes Laurent Legname. But it’s still a 17-year-old human being. He must be well surrounded, well advised and he must work a lot. “” We have seen prospects announced in such and such a place and then fall well, adds Ouattara. The mental path can be a trap, to think of the result before the journey, you must not miss the goal. “

  • Yoan Makoundou, the unfortunate one who had to remove his name from the Draft because of an injury.

The name probably speaks to you a little less than those of Begarin and Wembanyama, but Yoan Makoundou had a lot of talk about him last season thanks to a huge dunk against Orléans, which had been relayed to the United States. “It looks like Space Jam,” commented Indiana hub Myles Turner on Instagram. After a good season with Cholet, Makoundou had decided to come to the Draft. And patatras. “I had teams waiting to see me in workout,” he told us. I was training in Dallas and just before my workout, I had an injury, so we decided with my agents to remove my name from the Draft. »Back to Cholet, hard.

> The following: If, collectively, the first league games were chugging along (a victory in four games), personally, Seine-et-Marnais had more consistent stats than last season: 10.5 points, 5.5 rebounds in average per game. “I know where I want to go, I work for that,” says Makoundou. I’m focused on this season, and then we’ll see where it takes me afterwards. My goal is to become a regular shooting threat. “

> The risk: Not having another opportunity that presents itself. “It can be difficult to live to find the championship of France when we hoped for better, affirms Abdoulaye Ndoye (Gravelines), who had not been chosen during the Draft 2020. You had a good year, you have fulfilled the goals, you can have franchise promises, like I had, and in the end, it doesn’t pay off. I was lucky that my coach in Monaco came to talk to me for a while, that he opened up to me. And then you quickly come back to the daily life of the club. If you make a perfs, the scouts will always be there to see it. They are everywhere. In my career plan, I still hope to join the NBA. “



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