22 November, 2021
28 February, 2023
32 Victor Wembanyama (FRA)
Team Announcement
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Wembanyama return headlines youthful France roster for February window

PARIS (France) - The return of Victor Wembanyama headlines France's 14-player list for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European Qualifiers window, which will see an inexperienced group for head coach Vincent Collet. 

France have already locked up their ticket to the World Cup in Asia later this year so Collet has selected on his roster six players born in the new millennium - including the 2004-born Wembanyama.

The other youngsters nominated for the Group K games against Czech Republic and Lithuania are Juhann Begarin (born in 2002), Hugo Benitez (2001), Malcolm Cazalon (2001), Ismael Kamagate (2001) and Yoan Makoundou (2000).

Collet will have to be patient with his team this window as only three players have more than 10 national team appearances in Andrew Albicy, Paul Lacombe and Terry Tarpey - and the six aforementioned youngsters combine for just nine games. The Mega Belgrade talent Cazalon, in fact, would make his senior team debut as would the 25-year-old Bodian Massa of SIG Strasbourg and 30-year-old Pierre Pelos of JL Bourg-en-Bresse.

But the team composition also provides the opportunity for a couple of players to give Collet a lasting impression ahead of his difficult choice for a final roster for the World Cup. Sylvain Francisco has only four caps with France but he went 5-of-5 on three-pointers in scoring a team-high 21 points in France's 90-65 win at Lithuania in November, while Damien Inglis averaged 13. 0 points and 6.5 rebounds in his only two games for France so far.  

France squad for the February window
Andrew Albicy Juhann Begarin Hugo Benitez Malcolm Cazalon Sylvain Francisco
Damien Inglis Ismael Kamagate Paul Lacombe Nicolas Lang Yoan Makoundou
Bodian Massa Pierre Pelos Terry Tarpey Victor Wembanyama  

Despite already being qualified for the World Cup, France's games in February still hold major meaning as first place is still at stake in Group K, where France and Lithuania are even at 8-2. They stand a big chance of staying ahead of Lithuania though since Les Bleus won by 25 points in the previous window.