France have suffered a setback in their preparations for this summer’s Eurobasket with the news that center Ronny Turiaf has pulled out.
Turiaf was in the team that finished runners-up to Spain in Lithuania in 2011, but the free agent, who maxed his contract out with the Los Angeles Clippers has decided to pull out leaving coach Vincent Collet with major issues at the 5-spot after Joakim Noah, Ian Mahinmi and Kevin Seraphin all decided to pull out as well.
“I informed the Federation that I will not be part of the French team this summer,” Turiaf said in an interview with L’Equipe on Tuesday.
“It’s been 10 days since I’ve made my decision.
“Right now, I am without a contract and personal reasons come into play.
“I need to refocus my goals, take full control of my career and take care of my body and myself this summer.”
The only notable big man on Collet’s team sheet is Alexis Ajinca with power forwards Kim Tille and Joffrey Lauvergne there for back-up despite being slightly undersized for the position.
Despite the setback, France are still considered amongst the early favourites for this year’s Eurobasket gold medal in Slovenia. They are housed in the capital Ljubljana along with Germany, Israel, Ukraine, Great Britain and Belgium in Group A.