Paris 2024 Olympic Games: the Blues and Wembanyama arrive in Montpellier to challenge the German world champions in preparation

Paris 2024 Olympic Games: the Blues and Wembanyama arrive in Montpellier to challenge the German world champions in preparation

Les Bleus face un très gros défi. – armand_lenoir

The French basketball team is returning to Montpellier this Monday (9 p.m.) to continue its preparation for the next Olympic Games. On the program for Victor Wembanyama and his teammates, the German world champions, at the Sud de France Arena.

It never goes unnoticed. On the pitch as in daily life, Victor Wembanyama impresses. Entering the restaurant of the Montpellier hotel where a press point was to be held this Sunday, the imposing 2.24 meters of the French prodigy contrasted with the calm of his voice to address a shy " Hello" to journalists on site before returning to their quarters.

At age 20, “Wemby” as he is nicknamed around the world, already wants to show that he is not only the future of world basketball, but already the present. Sparkling on the North American floors throughout the season, the Frenchman, drafted in 1st position in the 2023 Draft by the San Antonio Spurs, responded to the high expectations placed on him, and will be awaited by Montpellier fans , ready to succumb in turn to "Wembamania".

"Wemby" for a new impetus

Rookie of the year, a "five by five" extremely rare (with at least five units in the five statistical categories), triple-doubles but also a place in the best defensive five of the year. As the best blocker across the Atlantic (3.6 per match), the native of Chesnay joined Rudy Gobert, elected Best Defender of the Year, for the fourth time in his career.

In the French team, to compete in his first international competition with the A, Victor Wembanyama (20 years old), and his teammates Matthew Strazel (21 years old) and Bilal Coulibaly (19 years old) will have to bring a&nbsp ;new momentum. The Blues of coach Vincent Collet remain in a disappointing 18th place at the last World Cup. This year, the challenge will be great, and they will carry the Olympic gold medal hopes of an entire country.

Against Turkey in Rouen (96-46), last Wednesday, and in Cologne on Saturday afternoon against the German world champions (66-90), the French showed good defensive capabilities and appeal as well as domination for the game inside. When you have two dominant pivots in the NBA (Wembanyama and Gobert) and two of the best interior players in the Euroleague (Yabusele and Lessort), the task is easier for coach Vincent Collet. 

Membership and state of mind

"We have a big interior sector and we have to rely on that, admits Evan Fournier, offensive leader of the Blues for several seasons. There are some great doublets forming with Rudy, Victor, Guerschon and Mathias. But we also need a great alternation, and we on the outside must also be loans."

For the moment, at the beginning of preparation for the Olympic Games which will see them face Serbia (July 12), Canada (July 19) and finally the ;Australia (July 21), Vincent Collet especially remembers "the membership and the state of mind which emerge from this group after only one week of joint work.”

Monday at 9 p.m., the Sud de France Arena will welcome the French basketball team for the tenth time in its history, for a prestigious match, against Germany.

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