BiE’s editor takes the ice bucket challenge, nominates Basketball Ireland boss +++ Žydrūnas Ilgauskas considering a comeback? Wow LeBron has power +++ The Dream Team’s children +++ Highlights: Belgium beat Belarus, Germany stay alive +++ EuroBasket 2015: Bosnia, Belgium, Israel, and Latvia lock up spots +++ First Person: Follow the FIBA World Cup through BiE’s eyes +++ Basketball World Cup of Beer: The Final – USA vs France +++ Tight knit Iceland too much for Great Britain +++ EuroBasket 2015: Round-up and Highlights from Wednesday’s qualifiers +++ FIBA dropped a sweet promo for the World Cup +++

How do you say “Shaqtin’ a fool” in French?

France’s Pro B league doesn’t get much media attention in the US and after the latest segment of “Shaqtin’ A Fool,” they won’t be hankering for another clip to appear on NBA TV. Check out Shaq’s no. 5 choice for the televised wall of shame, as SPO Rouen Basket head coach Sciarra Laurent applies a unique trap defense against Maritime Boulogne, only to get a “T” for his efforts – and sadly, an “L” for his team.


Attendance figures, France Pro A 2009-10

The numbers are in on attendance in France’s Pro A league for 2009-10. Listed below are the 16 teams who participated in the 2009-10 edition of the league ranked by overall attendance. The number in parentheses represents the team’s rank in terms of average capacity filled.

Dijon, which finished last in the regular season, will be relegated to the Pro B division for the upcoming season.

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The French League explained

“A long, long time ago…” This is how fairytales for children begin, but it could also lead off the status of the French League. So, a long, long time ago, French teams were big names in the European context: CSP Limoges won the Euroleague, ASVEL qualified for the Final Four, and Pau-Orthez was the most regular participant in major European competitions. Players like Antoine Rigaudeau, Michael Young and Delaney Rudd made French fans dream and the sportive results built ProA a good international reputation. But this has changed since then.

Young French players today dream more about the NBA than the Euroleague, and yearly the best young prospects leave the ProA while most are still projects at the European level. This year, Alexis Ajinca and Nicolas Batum preferred to move overseas and risk a year in the NBDL rather than stay with their European club. So it is no surprise that France currently has nearly as many NBA players (Ajinca, Batum, Diaw, Diawara, Gelabale, Mahinmi, Noah, Tony Parker, Petro, Pietrus, Turiaf) as Euroleague players (Gomis, Sangaré, Koffi, Diot, Badiane, Leloup, Tchicamboud, Julian, Samnick, Morandais, Parker). But let’s check what the upcoming season brings.

The Big 4: STB Le Mans and SLUC Nancy will play in the Euroleague this season and both have recruited heavily by French standards. With J.D. Jackson as head coach, the all-youth years are over in the Sarthe region, and the new players are all more or less experienced on the European level. To bring Dee Spencer back to France as well as signing Euroleague players Bluthenthal and J.P. Batista was seen as enormous for a French team. The addition of Pape Badiane in the paint and the multi-versatile Maleye N’Doye are even more than a cherry atop the cake for the team. Now with such a loaded roster, the clear goal is the French Championship.

SLUC Nancy also went big in recruiting, with the addition of Rod Benson, John Cox and Lamayn Wilson, even if the names sound less flashy Le Mans’ moves. But a team core built around the Greer brothers, Wild Thing Julian and the new French backcourt composed of Tchicamboud and Morandais, who will play in France for the first time in his professional career, is pretty strong. And if Roger Zaki plays in the regular season like he started the preseason, defending the title is not an impossible task.

ASVEL Villeurbanne is probably the only team that can compete with the two Euroleague participants in terms of budget and player material. With the experience of Vincent Collet as head coach and the newly added firepower of Eric Campbell, J.R. Reynolds and Amara “The Admiral” Sy, it looks like the self-declared Euroleague wild-card team can finally battle for the title it’s been seeking for a long time. It remains to be seen how this newly composed roster will harmonize. Chorale de Roanne tries to return to the old days with the reappearance of Aaron Harper. Additionally, some proven ProA players joined the team while the coaching staff once again tries to hit the jackpot in the annual college lottery by signing some rookies.

NT members’ teams: It sounds surprising, but it were Vichy and Cholet who featured a significant number of national team players for the unsuccessful Eurobasket 2009 qualifiers this summer. Now both must integrate these guys at high speed in order to be competitive for a season that begins in just 10 days. Besides the French de Colo and Marquis, Cholet also features Iranian national team player Samad Bahrami and is somehow unique on the European scene with this signing. Besides those, the rest of the team is composed of more or less known NCAA players and some promising young guys. For Vichy, the situation is quite different as the roster is composed of four US boys and French rotation players. Despite being national team members, Issa, Gradit and Soliman won’t be the superstars that take Vichy to another level and success therefore depends a lot on the four American-born players.

The all-youth teams: Pau-Lacq-Orthez – to be correct – is attempting to rebuild its team around a very interesting core of young players this season. Ludo Vaty already knows ProA, but some youngsters like Fernando Raposo and Thomas Heurtel are ready to gain major minutes at the senior level. Hiram Fuller knows the league as well so he can teach rookies Jameson Curry and Josh Duncan how life goes in the Bearn.

The All-America teams: These teams are the most difficult to rank, as all rely greatly on their four alloted US-born players. STB Le Havre finished as high as 5th place last season with such a roster and this season looks similar as after the Americans are only prospects from the local youth program. Hyères-Toulon is a bit different, as they’re build around the comebacker Mous Sonko and veteran Vincent “Bang Bang” Massingue to guide their import players.

Of this group of teams, BCM Gravelines has aligned the most common names during the summer time. Yannick Bokolo will lead the group and Cyril Akpomedah, J.K. Edwards and Tony Stanley try to fire up the scoreboards in the traditional Sportica Arena. Chalon preferred to sign quality US guys in Brian Boddicker and Zack Wright and surrounded them with experienced Frenchmen and some younger prospects; the results in the preseason look promising so far.

SIG Strasbourg signed former Roanne sharpshooter Brion Rush and also added some players that know how ProA works. It looks all very good on paper, but now it is the team’s job to bring this to fruition. Orléans looks a bit like the “nouveau riche” squad of the league. Laurent Sciarra, Brian Greene and Adrien Moerman appear to be the most promising recruits, even if the French PG is already out with an injury in the beginning of the season.

Who?: The two teams promoted from ProB, Rouen and Besançon, could also be ranked in the All-America teams category. Still, their rosters are even more unknown to me when it comes to discussing the US players they signed than for the rest of the league. We’ll see during the season how these teams play and there may always be surprises coming from them. But it is still difficult for me to assess them at the moment.


France ProA Transfers Table 2008/2009

Euroleague TransfersSpain Transfers ( TransfersTurkey Transfers


Updated: 9/10/2008 14h56CET

NB: Please note that names in bold are confirmed transfers. Others listed are rumors published by various media or online discussion forums. The Budget figures are either officially announced numbers or estimations related in the Media.

Arrivals Departures
Le Mans

Budget: 5.63M€

J.D. Jackson (head coach)
Pape Badiane (Roanne)
Maleye N’Doye (Dijon)
Dee Spencer (Efes Pilsen)
David Bluthenthal (Maccabi Tel Aviv)
Brian Chase (Besiktas)
JP Batista (Lietuvos Rytas)
Nicolas Batum (Portland Trailblazers)
Sam Clancy (Ural Great)
Phil Ricci (?)
Vincent Collet (head coach ASVEL)
Luka Bogdanovic (Joventut)
Raviv Limonad (Nahariya)
Nebosja Bogavac (?)
Yannick Bokolo (Gravelines)
SLUC Nancy

Budget: 4.98M€

Steed Tchicamboud (Cholet Basket)
John Cox (Le Havre)
Lamayn Wilson (ASVEL)
Michel Morandais (Estudiantes)
Rod Benson (Dakota Wizards)
Mike Bauer (Ostende)
Zabian Dowdell (Monferrato)
DJ Harrison (Fribourg)
Pape Philippe Amagou (?)
ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne

Budget: 4.97€M

Ben Dewar (Orléans)
Ali Traoré (Le Havre)
Eric Campbell (Hapoel Holon)
Gabe Muoneke (Saba)
JR Reynolds (Soresina)
Vincent Collet (head coach Le Mans)
Amara Sy (AEK Athens)
Uche Nwonsu (Mariupol)
Edwin Jackson (loan to Nanterre)
Yohann Sangaré (AJ Milano)
Lamayn Wilson (SLUC Nancy)
Marko Cakarevic (Nanterre?)
Robert Conley (Maccabi Rishon)

Nouha Diakité (Rouen)

Chorale de Roanne

Budget: 4.32M€

Aaron Harper
Etienne Brower (Massachusetts)
Samba Dia (Chalons-en-Champagne)
Marcellus Sommerville (Le Havre)
Taj Gray (Paris-Levallois)
Chris Monroe (Napoli)
Brice Nengsu (Angelo State)
Marc Salyers (Fenerbahce, Dynamo Moscow,?)
Pape Badiane (Le Mans)
William Soliman (Vichy)
Adam Hess (Artland Dragons)
Brion Rush (Strasbourg)
Derrick Byars (?)
Raphael Wilson (Saint-Vallier)
Théodore Zachée (JA Vichy)
STB Le Havre

Budget: 2.51M€

Bingo Merriex (Tübingen)
Kentrell Gransberry (South Florida)
Brian Laing (Seton Hall)
Aleksandar Bojic (BK Prostejov)
Jean-Manuel Sousa (head coach)
J.K. Edwards (Gravelines)
Christian Monschau (head coach Gravelines)
John Cox (SLUC Nancy)
Ali Traoré (ASVEL)
Marcellus Sommerville (Roanne)

Wen Mukubu (?)


Budget: 2.72M€

Pierre Pierce
Darrel Tucker (Eiffel Towers)
Mous Sonko
Anthony Myles (DongGuan)
Dontaye Draper (Napoli)
Luc-Arthur Vebobe (CAI Zaragoza)
Drew Lavender (Xavier)
Alexis Ajinca (Charlotte Bobcats)
Tony Williams (?)
Daniel Horton (?)
Paul McPherson (?)
Laurent Legname (loan to Boulogne)
Kyle Milling (Fos?)
JA Vichy

Budget: 2.67M€

Nicolas de Jong (Tours)
William Soliman (Roanne)
Amadi McKenzie (Tenesse Tech)
Théodore Zachée (Roanne)
Shaun Fountain (Pittsburgh Xplosion – CBA)
David Teague (AEL Larissa)
Jimmal Ball (Paris-Levallois)
Prosper Karangwa (Paris-Levallois)
Olivier Vivies (?)
Curtis Sumpter (?)
Rasheed Wright (Poitiers)
Cholet Basket

Budget: 4.01M€

Christophe Léonard (CFBB)
Thomas Larrouquois (Limoges)
Michael Lee (Saint-Bonaventure)
Mickael Mokongo (Gravelines)
Mohammadsamad Nikkhah (Iran)
Randal Falker (Southern Illinois)
Vincent Grier (Gravelines)
Cedric Ferchaud (Pau-Orthez)
Maxime Chupin (Aix-Maurienne)
Tony Dobbins (Orléans)
Steed Tchicamboud n(SLUC Nancy)
Stephane Dondon (Bourg-en-Bresse)
Reggie Golson (Paderborn)
Justin Doellman (Besançon)
Deron Hayes (?)
EB Pau Lacq Orthez

Budget: 4.25M€

Frederic Moncade (Rouen)
Omar Thomas (Rimini)
Hiram Fuller (Kuwait)
Josh Duncan (Xavier)
JamesOn Curry (Chicago Bulls)
Jean-Aymé Toupane (Clermont, head coach)
Jeff Trepagnier (?)
Maximiliano Stanic (Pesaro)
Antonio Graves (Galatasaray)
Deji Akindele (Scavolini Pesaro)
Antywane Robinson (?)
Shaun Fein (St-Quentin)
Thierry Rupert (Chalon)
Cedric Ferchaud (Cholet)

Budget: 3.94M€

Stephane Risacher (Murcia)
Brian Boddicker (Valladolid)
Zack Wright (Braunschweig)
DeWayne Jefferson (Bosna Sarajevo) INJURED
Jerome Schmitt (Gravelines)
Thierry Rupert (Pau-Orthez)

Darnell Harris (LaSalle) TRYOUT

John Ford (Besançon)
Rolan Roberts (?)
Rowan Barrett (?)
Jermaine Guice (?)
Darrell Mitchell (?)
Bryan Bracey (?)

Xavier Corosine (?)

JDA Dijon

Budget: 4.67M€

Charles Lombahé-Kahudi (Evreux)
Alexis Tanghe (CFBB)
Zeb Cope (Orléans)
John Oden (Stal Ostrow)
Reggie Williams (VMI)
Eric Chatfield (Darussafaka Istanbul)
Laurent Sciarra (Orléans)
Terrell Everett (?)
David Simon (Strasbourg)
Maleye N’Doye (Le Mans)
Ibrahima Koma (loan to Charleville)
SIG Strasbourg

Budget: 3.6M€

Steeve Essart (Gravelines)
John Allen (Braunschweig)
Brion Rush (Roanne)
David Simon (Dijon)
Frédéric Sarre (head coach Gravelines)
Eric Girard (head coach ?)
Eddie Shannon (Split)
John McCord (Chester Jets?)
Kevin Houston (?)
Afik Nissim (Prima Veroli)

Aaron Pettway (Chorale de Roanne)

EO45 Orléans

Budget: 4.35M€

Adrien Moerman (Roanne-Nanterre)
Laurent Sciarra (JDA Dijon)
Anthony Dobbins (Cholet)
Frens Johwe Casseus (CFBB)
Ryvon Covile (Hapoel Elyon)
Brian Greene (Cologne 99ers)
Cedric Banks (Maccabi Rishon)

Jeremis Smith (Georgia Tech) TRYOUT

Ben Dewar (ASVEL)
Zeb Cope (Dijon)
Ahmed Fellah (Besancon)
Theron Smith (?)
Aloysius Anagonye (?)
Dustin Salisbery (Braunschweig)
Brandon Heath (?)

Budget: 3.7M€

JK Edwards (Le Havre)
Loïc Akono (Brest)
Nick George (Alicante)
Cyril Akpomedah (Paris-Levallois)
Rashaun Freeman (Nantes)
Yannick Bokolo (Le Mans)
Dan McClintock (Oldenburg)
Christian Monschau (head coach Le Havre)
Vincent Grier (Cholet)
Joseph Bunn (?)
Thomas Dubiez (?)
Stephen Brun (Split)
Mickael Mokongo (Cholet)
Eric Joldersma (?)
Steeve Essart (Strasbourg)
Aleksandr Kostoski (?)
Jerome Schmitt (?)
Marcus Slaughter (Bremerhaven)
Paccelis Morlende (Ural Great)
Philippe Namyst (head coach Lille NF1)
SPO Rouen

Budget: 2.28M€

Jonathan McClark (Aix-Maurienne)
Mohamed Hachad (Saint-Etienne)
Kevin Houston (Caracas)
Michel Nascimento (Ludwigsburg)

Nouha Diakite (ASVEL)
Mickael Toti (Limoges)
Dante Milligan (Massachusetts)

Frédéric Moncade (Pau)
Brice Vounang (Charleville)
Antoine Liorel (Quimper)
Martin Le Pellec (Evreux)
Boris Elisabeth-Mesnager (?)
BBCD Besançon

Budget: 2.4M€

Tommy Gunn (Poitiers)
Raphael Desroses (Bourg-en-Bresse)
Ahmed Fellah (Orléans)
John Ford (Chalon-sur-Saone)
Yamar Dienne (La Palma)
Justin Doellman (Cholet)
Justin Hawkins (New Mexico State)
Alain Thinet (head coach St-Etienne)

Kenna Young (BYU) TRYOUT

Terrance Johnson (?)
Adam Waleskowski (?)
Ekene Ibekwe (?)
Sebastien Hermenier (?)
Anthony Christophe (?)
Xavier Delarue (?)