“I’m a little labourer.”

11:30 am, 18 September 2022

Céline Domirk hasn’t worn her nickname well since she wore a second hat, and she’s the manager of the French women’s basketball team. An iconic figure in her major (262 picks between 2003 and 2017), she recounts her double life as the World Cup approaches in Australia (September 22 – October 1). Where the Blues will go into the unknown (Thursday against the Australian’s pick), even if they stay on Olympic bronze, is at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Read also – Wembanyama, Yabusele … After the European Basketball Championship, the French men’s team will be able to count on its own talent pool

What does your typical day look like during the campaign?
I am the relay between the federation, the apparatus and the players whose expectations I know. I make sure it’s smooth, and that everyone feels good. I follow the team’s rhythm, with a bit of organization, in terms of supervision. It could be about planning the next trip or even a barbecue. There is a little bit of everything and anything, which is great because there are always strong moments to experience.

Not because I have the manager role that I feel above

Have you asked for advice from Boris Diau, your peer in boys?
Before my first assignment, I had asked him questions. But it also depends heavily on the employees and the role they give you. No job description, we don’t fill in the boxes, we just do it to order. But I also go there for a small fine in case of bad behavior or delay. Not so much for the players, who have their own rules among themselves, but I’m a part of the cast and I enjoy that.

Does staying active in Basket Lands change the relationship?
I have played, or play, with all the guys, but not because I have the role of manager that I feel above me. I want us to stay on the friendly and respectful side. And the girls did not change with me either, there is no settling distance.

In my head, I’m not 40 at all

Do you participate in training or technical discussions?
I sometimes attend meetings with staff, express my feelings but can’t say if my voice matters or not. I’m also sometimes allowed to come onto the field to help out with my shooting and passing sessions. It’s fun and keeps me energized and ready for my season. But above all else, I get up earlier than anyone else to do my setup by my side. The days are busy and today I am very tired. But it’s my problem and I don’t have to force it on anyone.

I just turned forty. Do you really feel it?
It makes me smile because, in my head, I’m not at all 40 years old. But there, my body tells me I’m not too young anymore. It takes longer to recover and even warm up. I like the feeling of pain so it doesn’t bother me too much. For some, it’s mentally letting go. I always want to play

I had not declared myself the bearer of the French national flag, it was done without my knowledge

I was the spokesperson for women’s basketball. But we don’t feel there is a player willing to replace you…
It will depend on you first, the media. I had not declared myself the flag bearer of the French national team, it was somehow done without my knowledge. It is true that our current players are less vocal. Marin Johannes, we forced it a little bit at first. She is very shy and that annoyed her a bit. I’m the first to try to push them, but you also have to respect the characters. Suddenly, we no longer had a single face speaking to the audience, the role became more urgent.

New coach Jean-Amy Tauban was greeted coldly. Are you surprised?
No, because change always makes people grumble a bit in France. We see the bad side -“ It comes from boys, he doesn’t know girls” – But maybe things could go well, too. The beginnings are complicated, but it takes time to absorb them. No matter what is said, the important thing is what will happen on the ground. Lots of seniors aren’t there and getting out of our thick chicken wouldn’t be an easy task. We’ve never really outdone this competition. I remember that after the 2012 Olympics [médaille d’argent]The World Cup that followed wasn’t crazy [quart de finale]. so what ? This did not stop us from returning.

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