Basketball – elite. Kick off the tournament with ghosts and two giants

The season that begins on Friday, which has marked the return of some famous veterans, is still supposed to lead to a duel between Leon Villeurbanne and Monaco for the title.

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NotAndo de Colo, Geoffrey Louverne, Adrien Moormann … Many international basketball players will once again step onto the courts of the French championship, which begins on Friday, with cup holder Lyon Villeurbanne, and Monaco its victim in the final stage, as the main contenders.

Among them, they made 282 selections: thus De Colo, Lufferney and Moormann return this season, after several years spent in the major European clubs and in the national team shirt, even if the first name is one frame. . To this list we must add Edwin Jackson, who returned to help Nanterre, where he developed in his early days, as a freelance journalist.

“We are giving back to our country a little of what it gave us in the beginning” Nando de Colo

Leaving Asvel for ASM, Elie Okobo left a captain/empty rear spot, which de Colo hurried to take, quickly joined by Lauvergne. “We give back to our country a little of what it gave us in the beginning, because we are all of French training, no matter what cities we developed in”breathes de Colo, who immigrated abroad thirteen years ago.

The three blues have come to strengthen the two fleets namely Asvel, France’s triple champions in the title, and ASM, finalist in 2022, 2019 and 2018, still chasing their first crown. This season again, the duo seem untouchable. “I think there is a rivalry between ASVILLE and Monaco (…) and it is growing and gaining momentum”notes Okobo, who left Rhône for the principality in the off-season.

Except for that, in addition, Leon Villeurbanne saw many of the items disappear. “It is always difficult to lose a lot of players every year, you always have to rebuild and start from scratchCoach T.J. Parker sighs, adding: “They had a great team last year too. There, the Force Four. We don’t have the same finances as them, nor the same economic system. We’ll do our best, and build as smartly as possible.”

Wembanyama finds his own Ile-de-France

But the Rhone coach is happy with that“To have two great teams, the French basketball locomotives”. Because in the shadow of the two giants, the Boulogne-Billancourt / Levallois Beret continues to grow. This summer snatched away from the bottom of the great hope Victor Wimpanyama (18; 2.21m), who is expected to be selected for the first place in the NBA lottery (draft) at the end of the season. “Metropolitans 92 provided me with a nice, protective environment, where I could fully focus on basketball and my development.justify the interested party. It’s a certain safety and insurance choice before the big jump. » Returning to his home region of Paris, the player with a wingspan of 2.43 meters will benefit from a more organized team presence around him, on the orders of Vincent Colette, who is also France’s coach.

Boulogne-Levallois will open the Gravelines’ new elite season (at 8pm), at the same time as Roanne at home in front of Blois. Monaco travel to Nanterre on Saturday (8pm), while Lyon Villeurbanne will perform on Sunday (7pm) in Cholet, where de Colo will find the club that launched it.

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