From the return of international players to the Wimpanyama miracle, how the dimensions of the French championship have changed

What if we keep watching basketball. Just five days after the end of the Eurobasket, the French men’s championship resumes its rights on Friday 23 September. A chance to see unhappy finalists on French parquet floors such as Thierry Tarbe III and Elie Okobo, or even Nando de Colo, in France after thirteen years of exile. Several names that promise an exciting season, are able to take the Betclic Elite to a new level.

Last season was really good booze. Having missed the fourth Euroleague Final (C1) by his hair against Olympiacos, Monaco Asfel pushed Lyon Villeurbanne to his limits in the French Championship final. At the end of an epilogue of exceptional intensity and suspense, Leon finally took home his third title in a row.

The rivalry between the two giants in the tournament, both involved in the Euroleague, has continued to climb since their first final in 2019, which was already won by Asvel. “Today we have two teams leading the other team to the top, Alan Beral, president of the National Basketball Association (LNB) rejoices. It’s great that you have this rivalry. Twenty years ago, it was the city of Pau Limoges. They offer budgets that we have never known before on the ground and this makes it possible to put French basketball in Europe.

“This rivalry is growing and gaining momentum. I hope it continues for years to come.”Eli Okubo continues. The Eurobasket silver medalist with Team France is a great example of Betclic Elite going forward while retaining their best players. The best player in the final in villeurbannais colours, the rear joined Monaco this summer, despite the sirens of Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid or Fenerbahce. He will play alongside one of Europe’s biggest talents, Mike James, who has extended his lease for another two years.

Elie Okobo won’t be the only international tricolor player developing on the decks of the 18 clubs participating in Betclic Elite. In addition to Terry Tarpey III at Le Mans or coach Vincent Collet at Metropolitans 92, a slew of international medalists have returned.

2013 European champions Nando de Colo and Geoffrey Louverne signed for Asvel, 2014 World Cup bronze medalists Kim Tilley and Edwin Jackson will play for Cholet and Nanterre respectively, while 2019 World Cup bronze medalist Axel Tuban continues the adventure that began in January. With Paris Basket. As a bonus, two-time Euroleague champion Adrian Moormann with Turkish club Anadolu Efes Istanbul, arrived in Monaco.

“It’s something I’ve been wishing for twelve years and finally came true, Tasting Alain Beral. They come back because they find conditions similar to those outside but in a tournament they like, with a level of play that suits them.” Double winner and MVP at C1 with CSKA Moscow, Nando De Colo preferred Asvel instead of Valencia: “I am happy to be able to return to France. My priority was to stay at the club that plays in the Euroleague, the fact that he plays in the French championship is an added bonus”, confirmed.

“This is great news. For a long time, we had a championship under our French team, with players in the NBA or the Euroleague. Today, the championship is progressing again.”

Axel Toban

at a press conference

These numerous and fascinating arrivals underscore the progression of a tournament that has returned from a complex period. During the pandemic, the club’s resources have been strained by frequent closed doors while revenue is mainly dependent on tickets.

“Since spending two years at Asvel at the beginning of my career, I have grown tremendously, Kim Tilly confirms. In the media, the level of play, the players who sign, the budgets: everything increased. It is one of the best leagues in Europe after Spain.

To top it all off, the Betclic Elite will be the setting for the expression of an exceptional attraction: Victor Wembanyama. At the age of 18, the phenomenon of 2.21 meters (without shoes) and 2.44 meters wingspan will spend his final season in France before traveling to the NBA, where he is expected to be named first in the draft, in June 2023. After making his professional debut in the Nanterre, then a season at Asvel, will work the miracle on orders of Vincent Collet with Metropolitans 92, as a personal project has been developed to better support it.

“The important thing is to establish first place in the draft, ambitiously affirms. I have a very good feeling about next year. I want to enjoy this last year in France.” The author of two bids at 34 points is in the making, Wimpanyama hopes to confirm in the tournament.We may never have another one like him, he is a generation player. I’ve never seen that before”Alan Beral ignites.

Unprecedented is finally the catchphrase of the Betclic Elite season, which begins on Friday. “I can’t wait to get started”Impatient Eli Okubo. He could have said it better.

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