A French on fire teases his return: « I want to come back with a real status »


With 8 players playing in the league, France is one of the best represented countries in the NBA. An international tricolor intends to return there soon, and can quite dream of it in view of his current performances!

While waiting to see if Sekou Doumbouya or Joel Ayayi will find a team in the coming weeks, there are eight of them proudly representing their country in the toughest competition on the planet. Nicolas Batum, Evan Fournier, Rudy Gobert, Killian Hayes, Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, Théo Maledon, Frank Ntilikina and Killian Tillie are indeed trying to carry the French flag as worthily as possible in the NBA.

If the first 4 have an important role in their respective franchise, the others have to deal with a shorter playing time. Conversely, a former resident of the league from France has chosen to take a different path this summer, in the person of Elie Okobo. Now a member of ASVEL, the former Suns player explained this choice in a recent interview with HoopsHype.

The last time I played in the United States was in the G-League bubble. And I didn’t like the experience. Not because of my team or my coaches, but because I was playing with pain in my ankle. It was frustrating. I decided to have the operation during the summer, and I wanted to play the Summer League at 100% of my ability to find a team there. But it was not possible. Tony Parker called me at that point, he wanted to bring me over, and it helped me bounce back from my injury and surgery.

Indeed, since the start of the season, Okobo has displayed a radiant face under the colors of Villeurbanne. Participating in the EuroLeague with the club from the Lyon suburbs, the 24-year-old leader excels there, since he is quite simply the top scorer in the competition (19.6 points), all with excellent marksmanship (55.3 % on shoot, 51.0% at 3 points)!

Elie Okobo aims high for his return to the NBA

Author of more than successful beginnings on the European scene, Okobo could claim to establish himself durably on the old continent. Nay. The Bordelais can see himself returning to the NBA in the more or less long term, and not to scratch only a few minutes!

I haven’t really set a goal or a specific timeline for a comeback, a deadline or anything. I want to improve, be prepared, and make sure I don’t go back to the NBA like a rookie. I want to reach a certain level, and come back with a real status of big EuroLeague player. Obviously I want to have a long career in the NBA, but right now I’m focusing on my team and myself.

To hope to make his way back to the NBA, the international tricolor (8 selections) will have to continue at the same pace as he currently has, and keep ASVEL at the top of the EuroLeague ranking!

With 2 NBA seasons to his credit, Elie Okobo does not want to spend too long away from the league. In sight at ASVEL, he hopes to once again catch the eye of American scouts through his good performances with ASVEL!

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