Basketball: Osman Dieng does not want to stop there and wants to become the “NBA Champion”

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The time is close to 5 p.m. in Miami, about 11 p.m. in France. Barely outside of his training, Usman Deng showed a dazzling smile a few days before the NBA draft. A real turning point in the life of Lot-et-Garonnais who started basketball in Villeneuve-sur-Lot. He conjures up, without pressure, this appointment, and the rest of his already formidable career. Simply and humbly, he answers at length the questions of our editorial staff.

How have you been since you arrived in the United States? What does a youngster’s day look like as he prepares for the NBA draft?

I’m fine, everything is going well. I’ve been in Miami since May 1st. I get up at 7 am to play basketball at 8 am. After I get back, I have a weight training session in the afternoon. Then, I train from 2 PM to 3:30 PM. I’m a coach from Miami and also have trainers from my agency (Editor’s note: Usman Deng works with a specific team that surrounds him in his day to day life).

On the night of Thursday through Friday, you will participate in the draft. Imagine you don’t yet know your future franchise? Do you already have pressure on your shoulders?

That’s right, I’ll find out which franchise will pick me at the same time as everyone else on draft night. It’s exciting, at least it will be a surprise to everyone. Me, I just want to join a team that will take time to develop myself. At the moment, I have no pressure. I’m glad to be here, I’m waiting for D-Day.

Do you realize you’re going to step into the draft stage and shake hands with NBA President Adam Silver?

I think every basketball player has ever fantasized about hearing his name in the draft. It’s going to be special, it’s incredible.

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Basketball: From Lot-et-Garonne to NBA Draft, Ousmane Dieng’s Totally Crazy Career

Given what the NBA represents, how have you been dealing with the past few weeks?

it is a dream ! I am very happy to receive the invitation to the Green Room (Editor’s note: which includes the 20 players recruited to the top positions). I don’t know if I expected to get there, but I worked for it anyway. But nothing is certain, everything will be done at the time of the draft. Living my dream without asking myself any questions, I just keep working.

Since when did you dream of playing in the NBA?

It has always been a dream since I started basketball. He then turned into a target at the age of 14-15 when she started the Hope Center and INSEP.

The French are in full readiness in the United States
Osman Deng’s photo

What are your memories of your beginnings with the orange ball?

I started basketball because my dad was interested in it. I was always in the room watching the Villeneuve-sur-Lot matches. I really liked this sport because we play for fun.

What is your inspiration?

When I started basketball I watched Kobe Bryant a lot and now I watch Brandon Ingram or even Paul George a lot. Last summer I had the opportunity to exchange with Paul George specifically when I went to Los Angeles, it was great. It’s unbelievable, but I also tell myself I’ll be playing with or against this type of player in six months, so it lets you see what level you need.

Read also:
From Villeneuve-sur-Lot to the NBA Draft “You can’t imagine the path it would take…for a second,” Osman Dieng’s dad told

Was there a significant moment in your career that tip the scales in the right direction?

Yes, it corresponds to the period after the Hope Pole, when I returned to INSEP. At the same time, we finished second in the European Under-16 Championship with the French national team and had a good championship, so from that moment on, the NBA became a real target.

Were your tenures at Federal Center and New Zealand Breakers crucial to getting to this point?

I think yes. I learned a lot at National 1, to be able to take on adults from an early age, it necessarily worked for me. After that, I wanted to continue with that momentum of playing against the big guys, which is why I decided to leave. It was a turning point, a very good choice. Even if it was a tough start to the season, she has improved a lot in a relatively short time.

During your stay in Oceania last year, the beginnings were a little rough. Why ?

I think especially because the level was completely different. The players are much stronger, everything is faster and everything is more physical. Also, I had to adapt because Australia is far from France. I just had to find my rhythm so I kept working and it finally paid off.

Read also:
Basketball – Villeneuvois Ousmane Dieng is a “nugget”: the origins of the future French prodigy

Were there key people throughout your career?

Inevitably, I will quote all of my coaches. First of all, my father then Arnaud Voisin, in Villeneuve, my coaches from INSEP: Bernard Faure, Nicolas Absalon, Lamine Kepe and also NBL assistant coach Moody Mauer, who was very important to me.

What are the features of the Osman Dieng game?

For my height (2m08), I’m a versatile player. I can defend, attack the basket or even shoot with three points. My vision of the game and the quality of the passes are also part of my strengths. Since arriving in Miami, I’ve been working on my whole game a bit.

Isn’t it complicated being away from his family so young?

I think I’m used to it because from a very young age, even if I was in Mont-de-Marsan or Paris, we didn’t see each other all the time. Even when I went to Australia, I didn’t see my family for the first six months and that was fine.

    The 19-year-old is expected to be in the top 20 picks

The 19-year-old is expected to be in the top 20 picks
Osman Deng’s photo

Is it important to return to Villeneuve-sur-Lot from time to time?

Yes of course, this is where I grew up. Every time I take a vacation I try to come back and train in Descartes’ room. I still have friends there, we talk to each other on networks because I haven’t been back since I left for Australia.

A young man from Lot-et-Garonne will soon be inducted. Do you know that you will become a reference for the next generations of 47?

I hope not all the guys who play basketball think that since they come from Lot-et-Garonne, they won’t be able to succeed. You just have to believe in your dreams and your work.

Are you ready to deal with this turning point in your life?

I think yes. I am well surrounded by my family and clients. Everyone thinks this is the finish line, but for me this is just the beginning, the goal is to stay longer in the league.

What a long way since the first dodge in Descartes’ room…

(Laugh). That’s it, already in New York (the place of the draft) the room will be much larger. I don’t know if you realize yet but this is amazing.

How will the post draft go?

I’m going to the city I was taken to and preparations for the summer league will begin immediately after that. I may be back in France a little before the holiday season begins.

After achieving this goal, we imagine that there is another finish line to cross?

Be the NBA champion and all-star.

Ousmane Dieng in the colors of the French national team

Ousmane Dieng in the colors of the French national team
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Paris 2024 Olympics, the other goal of Osman Dieng

If he is focusing too much today on his NBA career, Ousmane Dieng does not forget to keep an eye on the France team. Especially since the Villeneuvois team has already had the opportunity, in 2019, to compete in an international competition in the blue jersey. “It was during the European Under-16 Championship,” he recalls. “Things went well, I had a good tournament and we finished second. In fact, the Blues did well in this competition by losing the final to Spain. Ousmane Dieng played 7 matches and scored 8.9 points per match.
After joining a brand, Osman Deng aspires to continue its development to tick new boxes. In his view, a major competition stands before him: the Olympic Games in Paris 2024. “The French team is important to me. I am honored to participate in the Olympic Games in Paris.”
So Villeneuve must seize all the opportunities that will be given to him in the MLS to make a name for himself, and why not be part of the France group, the vice-Olympic champion at the Tokyo Games.

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Basketball: “The NBA is a goal” by Osman Deng

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