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Tillie excited to re-unite with magical French generation
SPOKANE (FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2017) - Killian Tillie is very excited about the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2017. The forward can hardly wait to re-unite with the France teammates who last year completed the FIBA U16-U18 European Championship double.
Tillie was the MVP of the FIBA U16 European Championship 2014 as France won their first U16 continental title since 2004. The Cagnes-sur-Mer native played for France’s U18 team the next summer as a bottom level player but got injured during the FIBA U18 European Championship 2015 and only appeared in three games.
"It’s a big championship. I really want to be part of it with this amazing team, this amazing generation for France. I really want to play with them. I think we can really do something in Egypt if we are complete and we play like they did in December and two years ago." Killian Tillie
Then last year’s U18 European tournament was postponed from summer to December and Tillie could not compete since he was in the United States playing for Gonzaga University.
But Tillie’s 1998-born generation of French stars won the U18 title - the country’s first at that age since 2006 - and booked their ticket for Cairo 2017.
"It’s a big championship. I really want to be part of it with this amazing team, this amazing generation for France," said Tillie. "I really want to play with them. I think we can really do something in Egypt if we are complete and we play like they did in December and two years ago."
Killian Tillie is looking forward to playing with his 1998 generation for France again - the last time resulting in a European U16 title.
In addition to winning the U16 continental title, Tillie has a special bond with a trio of other teammates from that squad. He teamed up with Jules Rambaut, Bathiste Tchouaffe and Timothe Vergiat and helped France to third place at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup 2015 - that coming before the U18 continental tournament in Volos. Tillie was named to the Team of the Tournament.
While Tillie did play both in the 2014 and 2015 summers, he did not play during either of the club season campaigns - dealing with a series of injuries.
The fact that he stayed healthy is probably the biggest takeaway from Tillie’s freshman season with Gonzaga, where he averaged 4.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.7 steals in 12.3 minutes a game.
"Well, it’s amazing," Tillie said about playing 33 of 39 Gonzaga games this season, which saw the Zags reach the NCAA title game where they lost to the University of North Carolina. "I feel really good. It was really tough not playing two seasons in a row."
Tillie will also come to Cairo with the additional confidence of delivering on a major stage, hitting two free throws with 2.2 seconds left to seal the NCAA Final Four semi-final victory for Gonzaga over South Carolina. Those free throws came in front of more than 77,000 fans at the University of Phoenix Stadium.