The ACC Fan’s Guide to French BasketballPosted by KCarpenter on October 5th, 2011
The lack of basketball being played right now is upsetting, and though Midnight Madness draws near, the gap between that and actual games is still disconcerting. To add even more heartache, NBA labor talks broke down yesterday making the possibility of at least some professional games soon less likely. The San Antonio Spurs’ French star Tony Parker showed his lack of confidence in the labor process by signing with the French team ASVEL recently. Things are not looking good for basketball fans who want to see their favorite players in action. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so without further adieu, I’d like to present the ACC Fan’s Guide to French Basketball.
The Ligue Nationale de Basketball is actually one of the better international leagues outside of Spain and it has the added benefit of being chock full of former ACC players. The league is divided into two divisions: Pro-A and Pro-B. Each division has eighteen teams and follows a relegation model where the worst two teams in Pro-A are relegated to Pro-B while the winner and runner-up of Pro-B is promoted to Pro-A. For now, let’s just talk about Pro-A, which begins its season on Friday, October 7, conveniently providing the basketball junkie with a quickly delivered fix.
The highlight for ACC fans might be seeing recent Virginia Tech standout, Malcolm Delaney playing on Élan Sportif Chalonnais based in Chalon-sur-Saône. Chalon is a talented team and features another ACC veteran in Alade Aminu out of Georgia Tech. For North Carolina fans, Paris-Levallois Basket offers a chance for Tar Heel fans to witness a reunion of 2005 national champions Jawad Williams and David Noel. For those who want to see a reunion of the 2009 national champions, I have to direct you to Slovenia where Danny Green and Deon Thompson play together for Union Olympija.
Now, for those in Charlottesville who want to fondly remember the high-scoring backcourt of Sean Singletary and J.R. Reynolds, Entente Orléanaise is the team for you. While Singletary now plays in the Spanish league, Reynolds teamed up with former Maryland player, Jamar Smith. Unfortunately, while Smith and Reynolds had solid years with Orleans last season, it’s not clear whether they will make the roster for this year.
But, back to France. Sean Marshall from Boston College will be joining Jeanne d’Arc Dijon Bourgogne, based in Dijon. A pair of Clemson players will play sidekicks to a pair of French NBA stars. Akin Akingbala will play for SLUC Nancy alongside Nicolas Batum, while Cliff Hammonds, provided he re-signs, will play with Tony Parker at ASVEL.
These last few days without basketball are the hardest, but hopefully, with the help of streaming Internet and fond memories of old ACC favorites, French basketball will help you hold off your cravings until the college season begins. Or, there’s always the ACC Vault instead.