Medals in the World Cup, the professional team … Basketball 3 x 3 “has everything to blow up in France! »

Suppose the coin didn’t fall to the right side… “, Equation Antoine Eto’o By getting rid of the idea of ​​frustration that would have sprouted in his colleagues and in him. At the end of last June in Antwerp (Belgium), the France 3 × 3 team, to which captain Alain Chalon belongs, failed to nothing in the World Cup semi-final against Lithuania. Obviously not everything was played at the time, but a simple free throw, in overtime, would have allowed access to the final.

It was necessary to quickly move to something else to bounce “, entrust cream sochoThe national team coach was met this week by BasketUSA during a rally in Nort-sur-Erdre, north of Nantes (Loire-Atlantique), where the training camp was also held. Nando de Colo. His players did it very well by defeating Belgium, in overtime, during the small final to leave with an impressive bronze medal around their necks. ” We weren’t expecting at all, we were the 10th country He mentions Antoine Eto’o, who was injured in two halves, to give an idea of ​​the performance of the Blues.

At the same time, their peers caused quite a stir by winning the first gold medal in their history in this vein, against Canada. This means that France really shined in the seventh edition of this international meeting. At the same time, as if to better confirm the current dynamic of the practice, the FFBB announced the creation of its first professional team, “3×3 Paris”.

The purpose of this unique operation, because the association accompanying a professional team is ” A concept that does not exist in team sports in France “:” Encourage players to specialize ”, presents in a press release Alain Contenso, FFBB National Technical Director. The latter takes into account the 2024 Paris Olympics. Unlike the 5×5, for which the two French teams qualified as the host countries, only one of the genders automatically qualified for the 3×3, i.e. the highest-ranked team on November 1, 2023.

Double qualification for Paris 2024

At the moment, the girls are in a better position than the boys in the 3×3 world ranking. This ranking, which includes individual, team and union divisions, evolves according to the points collected by the top 25 players in each country. Hence the idea of ​​betting on this team of six professional players to have them develop at the highest international level throughout the year, on a world tour, thus trying to advance in the global hierarchy. Eventually, this team, which has been eagerly awaited to be established, will be able to function as “ tank To the France team, imagine Karim Sochaux, who will also oversee this training.

The latter specifies that “3×3 Paris”, which was playing this weekend in Nort-sur-Erdre in a qualifying tournament for the “FIBA 3×3 Challenger Liptik”, was formed on the basis of the voluntary participation of players, primarily N1 or Pro level. B. Jeep Elite profiles are also set but financially we can’t match “,” Drafts the former French international, in 5 x 5. Before adding: If a player doesn’t want to do a 3×3, we’re not going to look for him to impress him. Generally, they come on their own to lure us and ask questions. We give the information and behind it, it is up to them to make their decision. I think it is better this way. »

Paul Djoko with his coach Karim Sochaux.

Paul Djoko He was one of those who wasn’t hard to recruit. He knows very well Karim Sochaux who was his coach at the 2016 European Under-18 Championship which ended with a gold medal. After five years in the NCAA (Northern Kentucky and Utah Tyler), he returned to Europe with the goal of getting a professional contract there. ” Ten days after the end of the season, I was offered the project, and I didn’t even have time to research ‘, says the 24-year-old who only hides his two-year contract. Very interesting financially, compared to what I might find in Pro B »: a fixed salary of 4,000 euros, in addition to a possible “money prize” in tournaments.

According to the FFBB, the Serbian team in Novi Sad earned a total of $279,000 in 2021. Meanwhile, still according to the federation, the operating cost of the French professional team is estimated at one million dollars. Euros per year, an amount assumed by the FFBB and the National Sports Agency.

NBA player?

With such amounts, system representatives realize that it will be necessary to wait a while before seeing the big names in basketball try their hand at 3×3.” NBA player? Nothing is impossible but on the day we will have $100 million in 3×3, we will be very far away! ”, laughs Karim Sochaux, but witness to the evolution of the means with these famous ‘money prizes’, since his discovery of 3×3 in 2012. The year the former Pro A player won the silver medal at the first world championship in Greece.

The technician considers that the practice still has enough to attract high-level practitioners: “ After the training center, some might say to themselves, “I might be a little crazy at 5×5, so why not go for 3×3?” This could be my line of thought. “Paul Djoku, for example, does not close the door to go back to 5×5. But” If my career had to be in 3×3, it would be 3×3 because I’m a fan of the discipline and I would like to become an ambassador for it because I think you should move forward, which people will love so much. »

He’s still under contract with Chalon, at 5×5, so Antoine Eto’o took the step a few years ago by calling Richard Pelant, Karim Sochaux’s predecessor, to test this other form of basketball. “ The first thing was the shirtsays the leader who hasn’t left the Blues since. For X or Y reason, I’ve never worn the big French team jersey in 5×5. It was important to me. I loved it right away, it matches the way I think, live and play. In the back, we got this cool medal. »

Antoine Eto’o in training.

The 34-year-old appreciates the street side of this basketball, his freedom, and the fact that no coach is near him. ” We are a family, four players on the field and we have to manage. It’s a crazy state of mind that I would bring to 5 x 5. Beyond that, in the half-court, there’s a lot more room, so if you can hold your leg, it’s easier in 5 x 5. It gets you working on your cardio, your instincts, the fact of moving quickly to something else. »

Everything goes faster and you don’t have a chance to hide, it’s really two other people and you. You have to be active at all times ‘ continues Paul Djoko, who says he appreciates the fact that there is more. The ball is in the hands. Basically, I’m a solo player, which is what I like. In 5×5, at a certain level, if you’re not the best player or players, you’re playing a role. You are asked to do specific things that you need to do less in 3×3 because you necessarily have more responsibilities. »

This is why Karim Sochaux and other 3×3 executives are looking for players.” Physically, always and skillful “Especially a complete hyper, because this dimension” The versatility aspect of some backgammon players boosts 5×5. ” Add : ” It is a dynamic formula, with possessions in 12 seconds, a game of 10 minutes or 21 points. An attractive format because it is short but intense, in terms of rhythm and heart, it has nothing to do with 5×5. We are often compared to our fellow tennis and squash players. »

expected development

The coach was not surprised by the relatively rapid development of this discipline, which made its debut on the international scene in 2010, and in a few years became an Olympian. ” It’s the logic of things, to be expected. »

What about those who take a bleak view of this dynamic of a 5×5 future? ” I think the two complement each other. In terms of fundamentals and hardness, it can bring 3 x 3 to 5 x 5. It should not be constantly compared because many things differ. It’s a bit like rugby 7 or 15. Everyone is free to love this system. There is no competition to be seen. 3×3 is not there to break up 5×5. In the end, the basketball will come out a winner. »

The technician is then asked about his feelings about the future. ” Ten years later? I would like him to have a professional league in France. With Paris 2024 we will be able to show 3×3 at home in France, it will be a turning point I think. »« The great results of the French teams for a few years is a good show. Everyone who is a little interested in her is a fan. I think discipline has all it farts in France! Paul Djoko ends excitedly.

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