Basketball returned to France this past week… in front of fans

Photo: Matt Evans/Call-Ups

Since Wednesday, July 22, a French Summer League took place in Cergy, France, on the outskirts of Paris. Being held at the Complexe Maradas Joel Motyl, the first edition of the Amiral League attracted talent of all ages. From up-and-coming prospects to those more established in the professional basketball circles.

Adam Mokoka, a two-way player for the Chicago Bulls and Windy City Bulls, featured throughout the 5-day tournament. As did former G League player for the Capital City Go-Go and Windy City Bulls, Darel Poirier. The Detroit Pistons’ Sekou Doumbouya was expected to take part but it emerged that he has returned to the United States. While Frank Ntilikina of the New York Knicks was in attendance for the first day but did not suit up.

Fans were present at the event through the full 5 days. In fact, the demand was high to catch a glimpse of the players on show. With fans queuing up to an hour prior to each day’s first game to get their basketball fix.

Photo: Matt Evans/Call-Ups

The first 3 days of the tournament were the group stages, with Saturday July 25, and Sunday July 26 being the elimination stages. Team Amiral, Yard x Paris Basket, Quai 54, and Les Aigles all made the semi-finals. Team Amiral, headlined by Mokoka, and Quai 54 progressed to a highly anticipated championship game.

Mokoka’s finals opponents featured Lahaou Konaté, Boris Dallo, and the previously mentioned Darel Poirier. Konaté and Dallo both play in the top tier in France, for the Metropolitans 92 and SIG Strasbourg, respectively.

It was a close contest throughout, then Team Amiral pulled away in the second half, to take a 74-62 victory. Bulls guard, Mokoka, scored 18 points and provided a handful of assists, to help his team take home championship honours. Earning the MVP award in the process.

Check out the video below for highlights of Adam Mokoka’s 18-point final performance:

For overall highlights of the final game between Team Amiral and Quai 54, check out the video below:

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