NBA: the French Risacher and Sarr drafted in the first two positions, a historic double

NBA: the French Risacher and Sarr drafted in the first two positions, a historic double

Zaccharie Risacher, accueilli lors de sa draft, ce mercredi 26 juin, par Adam Silver, président de la NBA. MAXPPP – SARAH YENESEL

Zaccharie Risacher and Alexandre Sarr, both 19 years old, were the first choices in the 2024 draft which allows American NBA clubs to recruit promising recruits. A year after Wembanyama, a new phenomenon is on the way.

The French Zaccharie Risacher and Alexandre Sarr were selected in first and second positions in the NBA Draft this Wednesday, June 26, respectively by Atlanta and Washington, an unprecedented double in the history of French basketball.

The latter does even better than during the previous vintage, which saw another French basketball player, Victor Wembanyama, first on the podium. France thus becomes the third country, after the United States and Canada, to have two nationals chosen N.1 in two consecutive years.

Tidjane Salaün in 3rd position

"I am really proud to contribute to the success of my country", explained Zaccharie Risacher at a press conference. A third Frenchman, Tidjane Salaün, then a fourth, Pacome Dadiet (N.25 by New York), completed this unprecedented evening for French basketball. In sixth position, much higher than expected for him, Charlotte has set her sights on Salaün, the former Cholet winger, who is still only 18 years old. "I'm a little upset", Salaün admitted. Sixth is huge. Now it's off to work."

A 19-year-old winger and 2.06 m tall, Zaccharie Risacher (19 years old) joins an already competitive team, which came close to the playoffs last season, a rarity in a system designed to allow the most mediocre sporting franchises to choose the best neophytes.

Risacher, a 100% French course

"It’It’s incredible, it’s hard to put into words what I felt, because it’ rsquo;was indescribable", declared the number one of the 2024 Draft."It’was the emotional elevator. Victor (Wembanyama) has inspired me a lot over the last two years, as he has done for many young French players", he added.< /p>

Also read: NBA: historic, Frenchman Victor Wembanyama, drafted with first choice by the San Antonio Spurs

This is the conclusion of a prosperous season for the ASVEL player who had bet on a loan to Bourg-en-Bresse. In Ain, the youngest Frenchman to have played in the Euroleague (16 years and 10 months) benefited from significant playing time (23 min on average) and took on a new dimension. He notably progressed in outside shooting and showed that he did not shy away from contact, despite a slender physique, facing seasoned players, older than him.

A father who won an Olympic medal in 2000

In Atlanta, which had not chosen in first position since 1975, he will join an already very extensive external sector. The Hawks have, in fact, the diabolical shooter Trae Young, the do-it-all guard Dejounte Murray, both of whom have already been selected for the All-Star Game, as well as the promising young winger Jalen Johnson (22 years old).

NBA: the French Risacher and Sarr drafted in the first two positions, a historic double

Risacher had a stellar 2023-2024 season with Bourg-en-Bresse. MAXPPP – Catherine AULAZ

Zaccharie Risacher cites as his first influence his father, Stéphane Risacher, former international silver medalist at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. The two share a natural elegance and an extraordinary fluidity of movement.

Although he has already been a two-time world medalist in youth categories, Zaccharie Risacher was nevertheless not included in the extended selection for the Paris Games. He will therefore be able to devote himself fully to his integration into the NBA. "I'm going to sleep in the gym", promised the native of Malaga, for illustrate his future investment in his new team.

Sarr, from Real Madrid to the American system

Alexandre Sarr (2.16m and also 19 years old), he will head to Washington. Unlike Risacher, fully trained in France, Sarr has multiplied destinations, from the youth teams of Real Madrid to the Australian NBL league, via the American youth training system Overtime Elite.

NBA: the French Risacher and Sarr drafted in the first two positions, a historic double

Alexandre Sarr, drafted in 2nd position, will play in Washington. EPA – SARAH YENESEL

The interior, also world medalist among young people alongside Zaccharie Risacher, will meet in the capital of the United States another Frenchman, Bilal Coulibaly, author of a very first season promising with the Wizards. Sarr, Risacher and Salaün already see themselves joining, one day, in the French team, Bilal Coulibaly, preselected for the Games. "The French team for the years to come is really going to be strong", enthused Sarr.

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