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Killian Hayes, the Frenchman who is rising in the NBA, star expected at Bercy

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Excellent for two months with the Pistons, Killian Hayes (21) will be one of the attractions of the NBA Paris Game, between Detroit and Chicago Thursday evening at Bercy.

The NBA is back in Paris! Three years after Milwaukee win over Charlotteit is the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls who will face each other at Bercy this Thursday evening. In 2020, Nicolas Batum was the French star of the evening. This year, all eyes are on Killian Hayes.

The 21-year-old point guard is the Frenchman who is rising in the NBA. “It will be an incredible experience to play in France in Paris. We take it very seriously. It’s really a chance for me and my team.”, he said Wednesday, before the training of the Pistons in Levallois. He expects to have a great time, in front of his friends and family members, some of whom have come from Cholet. “There will be a lot of people who haven’t seen me play since I left France”he savors.

They will have the opportunity to see the dimension taken by the native of Lakeland, Florida. The Franco-American, son of two former basketball players, arrived in the NBA two and a half years ago, with very good ratings. The Pistons had drafted him in 7th position, a record for a French player (who hangs by a thread with the phenomenon Victor Wembanyama).

Statistics on the rise

His first two years were difficult: 26 matches in 2020-2021, 66 in the following exercise. For its third season, the first matches drew a worrying curve, with few statistics, and an address at half mast. But with star point guard Cade Cunningham injured, Killian Hayes took his chance and gained confidence.

“When you come to the NBA, there are a lot of expectations. I got hurt at one point, but I never lost my confidence, he explains. And in the end, you get used to it, you gain experience in every match, you start to ‘mature’, to adapt. I think I understood the principle of my role, we must continue in this momentum and remain constant. »

For the past three months, he has been gaining momentum: averaging around 10 points and 5 assists in November, 12 points and 6.6 assists in December, and now 14.6 points and 8 assists since January. All with a peak of 26 points against Philadelphia ten days ago, increased marksmanship, and fewer and fewer bad nights. That’s all he’s looking for.

“The NBA is hard, it’s long, it’s 82 games. When you watch the best NBA players, they are present in every game, and that’s what I have to limit, you have to limit the bad games. Even when the shots don’t come in, you have to find something else to do to help my team win.” explains the one who now has the keys to the game of his young team.

At Bercy, Killian Hayes will not take himself for another, and seek to make a card to mark the spirits. “My role will remain the same, I’m not going to do things I haven’t done before, we’re going to stay in the game plan”, he promises.

His trainer, the experienced Dwane Casey, underlines the “great work” made by his student, who “is going to be amazing”. In a very young team, around Jaden Ivey (21), Isaiah Stewart (21) and Jalen Duren (19), Killian Hayes has time to learn and progress.

And soon the Blues?

The logical next step would be to see him in the France team. Killian Hayes is European U16 champion and vice-world U17 champion, but he hasn’t played with the A yet. It should be for the 2023 World Cup, for which he applies. In any case, his team will not object to seeing him join the Blues, which is not always the case in the NBA.

“I am campaigning for Killian, I hope he will be in the French team for the Olympic Gameslaunched coach Dwane Casey. I think he can be a good playmaker for the team, he has enough talent. » In a position where it will be necessary to replace one day Nando de Colo, another former Choletais, this would be excellent news for the Blues.



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