While ASVEL will have to wait until 2019 – 2020 to play in EuroLeague, given that certain commitments are fulfilled, club president Tony Parker thinks that this wait will benefit the organization in order to be better prepared for the top-tier European competition. “We will soon represent France in Euroleague,” Parker said to French RMC Sport during the halftime of ASVEL’s French League loss to Limoges, Sunday. “I want the team to be ready in 2019-2020. I’m happy because it’s a bad thing for a good thing. We still need a year to make progress.”
Are you planning on playing for the national team this summer? Evan Fournier: Why wouldn’t I go play for the national team like I do every summer? I will be here, that is for sure. In my opinion, there are no reasons for players to miss and not play in the June-July window. You can count me in; I will play with the national team this summer, like I always do every single year. People have to stop asking me this question because I am, and will always be available for the national team during the summer.
How important is it for you to play for the national team? Evan Fournier: It’s very important. I have always been very proud to represent my country and I love to wear the jersey. Like, who doesn’t like to represent his country? It’s one of the best feelings ever for an athlete. I have worn the national team jersey for a long time and it is always the same love and passion to represent my country every time I do so. I am always available to play for the national team; I love to play for the national team.
Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert met each other when they were 12 or 13 years old. They played together in a tournament for some of France’s most promising youth basketball players. There was just one problem. Gobert wasn’t very good. “He sucked!” Fournier recalled, laughing. “He was not good at all.”
Gobert and Fournier are both 25 years old now, and not only have they reached the NBA, but they have developed into critical players for their respective teams. Gobert, a 7-foot-1 center, routinely contends for NBA Defensive Player of the Year honors and has helped the Utah Jazz challenge for a Western Conference playoff spot. Fournier, a 6-foot-7 wing, ranks as the Orlando Magic’s second-leading scorer. They’ve also become close friends. “We’ve known each other for a long, long time now,” Fournier said. “So it helps definitely. With the other French players, like [Nicolas] Batum or Tony [Parker], they are a little bit older than me, so we’ve only known each other since I’ve been in the NBA. With Rudy, we’ve known each other since before high school, before middle school. We just have good chemistry.”