Chicago Bulls’ Joffrey Lauvergne has expressed a desire to play for the French national team at this summer’s Eurobasket.
Lauvergne represented France at last summer’s Olympic Games in Rio, averaging 9.2 points in five games as the French were eliminated in the quarter-final round by Australia.
“Yes, that is a goal for me,” Lauvergne told FIBA.com when asked what his plans for Eurobasket were.
“I want to play for the national team. Things have been going well for me with the national team and I enjoy spending my summer with the guys from the team and staff.”
The 6’11” forward enjoyed his best spell, statistically with the national side during Eurobasket 2015, where France were one of the hosts. Lauvergne won the bronze medal in front of the home audience as he averaged a solid 9.6 points and 5.6 rebounds, both national team career highs.
However, this summer will be a different feel for the French with leading talisman Tony Parker announcing his international retirement following their exit from the Rio Games.
But Lauvergne explains that France are more than just one guy.
“We have a lot of talents,” he says. “A guy like Thomas Heurtel, for example, doesn’t play in the NBA but he is a very good player. (Heurtel was one of France’s star players at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2014 and led the team to an upset of Spain).
“We have a lot of players who can play in the national team. We need to have everyone available and have a great training camp.”
France will face off against Poland, Greece, hosts Finland, Slovenia and Iceland in Helsinki in the opening phase of Eurobasket.