Westermann: “Limoges is still very special to me”

You are preparing to return to Limoges for the first time since you left in 2015. How do you feel?

It’s weird. I am very excited because I have great memories in Limoges and not only in terms of basketball with the title of champion of France. On a personal level also with the birth of my daughter Mila. I lived two beautiful years in Limoges. I remember everything. Not only the title but also the failure of the second season that ended without playoffs. During these two years, there have been ups and downs as in my career. But I remained very attached to this club and this city. I am very happy to finally be back.

What remains today of this French champion title?

We weren’t necessarily the favorites because Strasbourg didn’t lose a lot of games, but we had a very good squad, and in addition to that, we added Beau (Jeter) at the end of the regular season. But we changed the coach a little bit before the start of the playoffs, we lost Adrian (Moorman) to injury… The scenario was crazy and it makes this title even more beautiful. And when you win in Limoges, everything multiplies tenfold. I remember the full football field, the atmosphere in front of City Hall to celebrate our title. This season, we’ve faked something. Besides, we always write to Adrien (Moerman), Nobel (Boungou colo), Ousmane (Camara), Jamar (Smith), JP (Batista) and others.

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‘He’s an extraordinary professional’

Since you left, you have never stopped following the results of the Limoges as you follow the club’s news closely…

It’s a club that’s still special in my eyes, very special in my eyes and I can’t even explain why, even if Limoges’ enthusiasm probably plays a lot. I always feel the need to know how things are going. Today, I’m really happy with their season. Nobody expects that. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar. CSP thwarted many predictions. It’s a team that plays very well. She has a real identity. It’s fun to watch.

You will play against Nicholas Lang, one of your best friends. What inspires you?

We write to each other every day, we spend every summer together… It will necessarily be necessary to find ourselves on the field, but it remains a match that we both want to win. After that, I am very happy with everything that happens to him but that does not surprise me at all. It has been two years since it has developed at an amazing level. He deserved to be one of the three nominees for the Best Player award. He is an extraordinary professional, example.

CSP is a very boring team to play, very well trained and made up of smart players

What kind of match do you expect?

CSP is a very boring team to play, well trained and made up of smart players who know what they are doing. There is an idea, it does not work in any way.

Monaco Euroleague Large Team of the French Championship…

It’s the Euroleague when we’re in the European squad with all our foreign players. In the French championship, not everyone can play.

Did you absorb your exclusion at the last four gates?

It was very frustrating to miss him for a victory, but when you look at our season as a whole, with a clear head, what we did is still not bad. In December, when we were 13th in the Euroleague and we changed coaches, no one cared much. But after Obradovich arrived, everyone withdrew.

‘He has a great talent’

What do I bring?

He is a coach who quickly realized how this team can operate and win matches. He did an outrageous job to make sure the locker room was better and every player was in the best mood.

How do you feel about this team that you lead?

Good even if it is never easy to be the captain of a team of 16 players who necessarily have a lot of ego. I am trying to bring my experience to play this role that is very close to my heart.

How do you see your teammate Mike James?

He has an incredible talent, I’ve rarely seen that. He has an ego that goes along with his talent but I get on with him really well. It was not portrayed in the media. He’s a great guy that I love spending time with.

Matthew Marot

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