After announcing its national teams, the Vanuatu Basketball Federation is proudly presenting you the players that will fly Vanuatu’s flag in Samoa to the 3x3 basketball competition.
Freshly awarded with the Vanuatu 2019 Coach Of The Year, the 26 year old french man is leading one more time the 3x3 National Teams to their first ever Pacific Games.
Back in 2017, the French native was given the privilege to coach the 3x3 National Teams that took part the Van 2017 Mini Games on the home ground
"I started to coach the team back in August 2017. By that time, we had barely 3 months to learn how to play 3x3 basketball and to build up 2 good teams. It was a challenge, for all of us. Training on an outdoor concrete court, with only one spotlight working at night. People may not realise that winning the bronze medal with the women's team was an outstanding result considering all those elements"
And a bit more than a year later, with the 2-year project launched by the VBF to develop the 3x3 National Teams, the National Basketball Development Officer is excited with how the preparation went for the 3x3 National Teams
"This year was a longer and more professional preparation. We created a pool of 12 female's and male's players, and some young players are in the group to be developed and potentially be in the team in 3/4 years. I was worried about having such a long preparation, almost 5 months, but from April, once a month, we had either friendly games (vs New Cal over Easter) or competitions (3x3 Asia Cup). You need a different opponent, as often a possible, to get stimulated and have a stronger opposition in front of you".
The National coach looks forward to put on the Vanuatu colours on his shoulders one more time
"It will be the 3rd time that I represent Vanuatu on the international stage. I wonder how many 26-year old coaches have the same opportunity as me, of being a basketball national coach. I did not come in Vanuatu to work the VBF initially, and 2 years later, it seems that I came in at the right moment when the opportunity came up."
He is especially proud to represent the 83-island archipelago, as it is still an emotional moment and a privilege to his eyes
"I'm grateful to be where I am. I will always remember when we paraded in Korman Stadium in 2017 for the games opening ceremony in Port-Vila, when you feel the breath of a whole nation on your neck. You fight not only for you, but for the whole basketball community here. After the Mini-Games some people in town that we did not know came to us with the girls to congratulate us. Even though I'm a Ni-Vanuatu citizen, I'm even more privileged to be part of that journey."
And he is pretty confident for the 3rd Oceania 3x3 ranked team on their chances to perform better than 2 years ago
"Even if the team has changed, the girls go to Samoa to defend their bronze medal. We finished 7 out of 9 teams with the boys, and making it to the quarter finals is the objective. We have improved, because we trained more intensively, differently, and we participated to the two last 3x3 Asia Cups. So we gained confidence, and we faced professional players there. It's an experience that we have in our bag when we face the other Oceania nations"