When Evan Fournier was a young nugget of French basketball

Evan Fournier is about to blow out his thirty candles. Thirty banks for those who give everything to promote French basketball. Inevitably, when we think of Charenton’s receding hairline, we think of calvasse, the French team and the NBA. But for this very special anniversary, we dive back into the hexagonal years of our national Vavane!

On October 29, 1992, Evan Mehdi Fournier was born in a village in Val-de-Marne. Three decades later, the man will be one masters French basketball, so if you’re in New York, you’ll hear well from a passerby “I love France, Paris, Baguette, Fournier”. But before dropping his bags with Uncle Sam, Evan Fournier also traumatized some men on the floor of our sweet France.

In the year 2000, in September to be exact Evan signed his first license at the age of 7, probably convinced to play basketball in the common forum of associations that is undoubtedly the oldest national tradition. His first baskets, Vavane will try them right next to his home in Saint-Charles Charenton Saint-Maurice Basketball… it’s not easy to get such blase in jerseys. From a young age, the captain of the French team was at the forefront of his teammates and his opponents. In 2012, his trainer in Charenton said the Parisian already “There are young people who want to come here (to Charenton) to play with Evan”. Young Evan continued to impress and grow and he left his club to join INSEP in 2007 at the age of 15. By then, Evan Fournier looked like Evan Fournier with extra hair – sorry, but we have to specify – and this commercial shot with Boris Diaw already shows the extraordinary mentality of the boy. A significant meeting as they mentioned a few years later in an episode of Bros Stories.

The music video is legendary and so are the lines. What stands out above all is the certainty of little Fournier, this confidence and determination will push the Knicks player to leave INSEP after two years – while the courses are usually three seasons – to try his luck professionally that world. His first contract was signed in 2009, then with 17 years and he will defend the colors of Nanterre in Pro B. Together, Vavane and his friends will have a good workout finishing the 6th with 21 wins for 13 losses. Nanterre would go on to reach the semi-finals, but would lose to Limoges in two games. A fairly successful apprenticeship for Evan Fournier who was voted the best youngster in the championship by scoring 4.7 points per game in an average of 12 minutes of play. But Ligue 2 and Vavane, finished and the man signed in Poitiers to discover the elite of French basketball. His development continued from the bench in Pro A. At Poitiers, Fournier played fifteen minutes per game and averaged 6.4 points. The potential was there and it did not escape the American scouts, at the end of the season Evan was selected for the famous Hoop Summit held in Portland in April 2011. If we look at the names checked off the game sheet, we realize that Team USA looks good with Bradley Beal and Anthony Davis, and they will win the victory (90-82). Surrounded by Bismack Biyombo, Dario Saric or Davis Bertans, Evan Fournier finished with 6 units, 6 rebounds and 2 assists in 22 minutes. Not phew phew, and Evan was inevitably a bit disappointed with his performance but did not lose hope.

“It’s a big opportunity…but it happens. Do you know Andrea Bargnani? He put up two points in this game and still went first in the Draft (in 2006). That doesn’t discourage me. But it’s definitely frustrating, of course. »

– Evan on the Stade 2 microphone after the match

This type of reaction is typical of Evan Fournier, a player who only settles for the best and rest assured, his thirty-year mentality is still the same. We also saw him this summer after the lost Euro final… But also a few weeks later in the American media who asked him when he will honor the blue jersey with his presence. Respondent’s response: “Until we defeat you kumags.”

We close the parenthesis, and we return to Mister Fournier’s career. After this relatively cheap Hoop Summit 2011, Vavane will work hard and return to the Pro A courts to tear it all down. His second season was very good averaging 14 pawns in 26 minutes of play. It is clean, efficient and despite the mediocre results of Poitevin (13th, 9 wins for 21 losses), the young fullback is still developing and filling his bag with personal distinctions: MVP of the month of March 2012, best young player and best development in Pro A. For him the tricolor adventure ends here, after three seasons and 90 games between the two French professional levels.

A few weeks later, the French nugget will become the 21st tricolor to be called on Draft night. For the kid from Saint-Maurice, it was the start of the American dream with 20th place sending him to the Nuggets. Evan was 19 years old at the time, he wore 94 and he could still go to the hairdresser.

Charenton, Paris, Nanterre, Poitiers, sounds like a bad route to spend your holidays, but above all the trajectory that made Evan Fournier the player he is today. The receding hairline has graced us for several years in the NBA and the Blues, and we really want it to last!

Text source: Le Parisien, Bros Stories, USA Basketball, Stade 2, Fred Katz, LNB.

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