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22 Frank Bryan Ntilikina (FRA)
06/12/2016
News
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Ntilikina, Tchouaffe, youngster Doumbouya headline France outfit

PARIS (FIBA U18 European Championship 2016) - France will enter the FIBA U18 European Championship 2016 with one of the most exciting players in the 1998-born generation as well as a major talent who is still just 15 years old.

France's leader in Samsun from 16-22 December will undoubtedly be point guard Frank Ntilikina, who is earning major playing time for French side SIG Strasbourg in the Basketball Champions League. Also included on the roster is Sekou Doumbouya, who is already playing in the French second division ProB despite not turning 16 until 23 December.

 France's 12-player roster for FIBA U18 European Championship 2016
Thibault Desseignet Elhadji-digue Diawara Sekou Doumbouya Ivan Fevrier
Adam Mokoka  Abdoulaye N'doye Frank Ntilikina Jules Rambaut
Bathiste Tchouaffe   Bastien Vautier Timothe Vergiat Warren Woghiren

French head coach Tahar Assed-Liegeon was not expecting to have either young player for the tournament when it was originally scheduled for the summer. Ntilikina had other commitments and the Guinea native Doumbouya was still without a French passport.

"When we started out this summer, the boys had in mind that they were evolving with a very diminished group," said the coach, whose team will take on Russia, Slovenia and Serbia in Group D.

But Assed-Liegeon now has one of the most highly-regarded young playmakers in Europe in Ntilikina as well as a budding superstar in Doumbouya for the tournament.

"There was a 'sane' reaction during preparations (training camp) with a really interesting (type of) basketball. The idea is not to do something completely new with them (Ntilikina and Doumbouya) but for them to bring a permanent danger thanks to their talent which will provide new solutions to others." 

However, France are anything but just those two players, as the squad also features Bathiste Tchouaffe, who was a member of the All-Star Five when France won the FIBA U16 European Championship title in 2014. Tchouaffe was, like Ntilikina, on France's U18 team in 2015, along with Jules Rambaut

That trio are joined by fellow 2014 U16 European champions Elhadji-digue Diawara, Adam Mokoka, Abdoulaye N'doye and Timothe Vergiat.

Ivan Fevrier meanwhile played for France at this past summer's FIBA U17 World Championship.  

FIBA