25 August, 2023
10 September
France Roster announcement
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France stalwarts De Colo, Batum bolster Les Bleus' 12-man World Cup roster

PARIS (France) - A star-studded 12-man France roster has been announced for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, one that sees the return of stalwarts Nando de Colo and Nic Batum, and other important players.

Having reached the podium at the last two World Cups, the recent Olympic Gold Medal Game, and the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Final, France will be among the favorites to challenge for the Naismith Trophy.

Included are seven members of the France team that fell to USA in a close Tokyo Olympic Final in 2021 - De Colo, Batum, Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, Frank Ntilikina, Guerschon Yabusele, and Mustapha Fall.

Terry Tarpey, who dazzled on both ends of the floor at EuroBasket 2022 in his first tournament with Les Bleus, has been included, along with 25-year-old guard Elie Okobo.

Okobo will look to build on his first EuroBasket experience in Cologne and Berlin, where he was an important part of the rotation.

Mathias Lessort, in the 2019 team that finished third at the World Cup in China, is back, while Yakuba Ouattara and Sylvain Francisco are set to play in their first big tournament for France after featuring in various qualifiers.

The return of De Colo and Batum, who both took last summer off and didn't play at the EuroBasket, is almost certain to ensure better passing for the French while Gobert is back to serve as the team's intimidator in the paint on defense.

Fournier will view the opportunity to play this summer as a huge opportunity following a season with the New York Knicks.

The presence of Yabusele and Fall gives coach Vincent Collet additional resources to call upon in the paint aside from Gobert as they will be set to face tough competition down low at the World Cup.

France will need to hit the ground running in Jakarta, Indonesia, where they face tough opponents Canada, Latvia and Lebanon in First Round Group H. A loss in the group could be devastating with likely matchups against defending champions Spain, and Brazil, in the Second Round.