20 November, 2017
26 February, 2019
2 Frank Bryan Ntilikina (FRA)
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Rising France star Frank Ntilikina in squad for September Qualifiers

PARIS (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers) - France fans are poised to get a look at one of their rising stars  in the next window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers with promising guard Frank Ntilikina among the 18 players in the squad.

Les Bleus, who won all six of their First Round games, will play at Bulgaria on September 13 and then return home to take on Finland on September 16.

France 18-player squad for FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers
Andrew Albicy Nicolas Batum Fabien Causeur Nando De Colo
Moustapha Fall Thomas Heurtel Edwin Jackson Livio Jean-Charles
Axel Julien Charles Kahudi Alain Koffi Lahaou Konate
Louis Labeyrie Paul Lacombe  Mathias Lessort  Amine Noua
Frank Ntilikina Vincent Poirier    

Ntilikina averaged 5.9 points, 3.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game as a rookie with the New York Knicks in the 2017-18 campaign. He featured in 78 games.

The 20-year-old had played for France coach Vincent Collet at Strasbourg the season before in the Basketball Champions League. He was named Most Valuable Player, too, of the 2016 FIBA U18 European Championship.

Three players that have competed in each of France's wins - Andrew Albicy, Moustapha Fall and Paul Lacombe - are among the 18, as are long-time national team stars Nicolas Batum and Nando de Colo, the pair of which competed in the Qualifiers for the first time in the third window victories at Bosnia and Herzegovina (102-52) and at Russia (84-78).

Among those absent are France great Boris Diaw. The captain has played in all six of France's Qualifiers victories but has yet to sign for a club.

There had been speculation before the June-July games that they could be his last in the France shirt, fueled by reports of possible retirement. Diaw, as he has his entire career, was influential in the six wins, especially against Russia in the second window.

France players and coaches will meet up in the country's southwestern city of Pau on September 2, for the beginning of a short training camp ahead of the games against Bulgaria and Finland. They will move to Paris on September 6 to take part in the International Tournament, taking place from September 7-9 at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin. They will be back in camp for practices on September 10 and 11, in Nanterre.

Collet's side will leave for Bulgaria on September 12 for their opening game of the Second Round the following day. On September 14, they will travel to Montpellier where they will host Finland at the Sud de France Arena on September 16.

France needed overtime but defeated Finland in Montpellier, in the Group Phase of FIBA EuroBasket 2015.