Breakout star Fauthoux showing potential to follow in footsteps of Dumerc
MONT-DE-MARSAN (France) - Crowned the EuroLeague Women Young Player of the Year, Marine Fauthoux is a talent on the rise and one of the big hopes for French basketball in this next pivotal cycle.
Having went on loan from LDLC ASVEL Feminin to Basket Landes last summer, the move has resulted in a beautiful new chapter of a rapidly blossoming career for the young star.
The playmaker started the campaign well with Landes and went from strength to strength, arguably finishing the latter part of the season as one of the in-form players in the enitre competition.
"I WATCHED THE FINAL FOUR AND IT'S A GOAL OF MINE TO COMPETE AT THAT LEVEL." - Fauthoux
That deservedly led to her receiving the Young Player of the Year accolade, following on from another French rising star in Iliana Rupert who landed it twice.
"It's an honor to win with lots of young talent in EuroLeague Women and since 'Ili' won it last year, I was happy for her and I think it's good for French basketball," smiled Fauthoux.
"I actually didn't expect to have this kind of impact in Euroleague Women when playing against the best players in the world. But, I think I have improved a little in every aspect of my game this year.
"I'm very happy to be in Basket Landes, since the coaches have given me an opportunity to play and grow. I just want to continue to grow my game, continue to improve, and become a leader," she revealed.
It's perhaps that last comment in particular that will raise huge smiles on the faces of French basketball fans. Fauthoux is showing the kind of maturity that looks destined to catapult her into the status she craves for the national team, as well at club level.
While comparisons are something that people seem to love and hate in equal measures, there is no doubt that she is reaping the rewards from playing alongside legendary French guard, Celine Dumerc. To be able to go up against the veteran day in and day out at Landes has clearly paid dividends.
When you then throw in the support of the coaching team and her family basketball background (her father having played professionally), the opportunity in front of her is clear - she could emulate Dumerc if she continues on this impressive upward trajectory.
"Like every young French player, we grew up watching and admiring Celine," mused Fauthoux.
"I have learned so much from her and especially about how to work hard and what kind of leader I want to become."
The success she has had in winning the French Cup with Landes and now the Young Player of the Year award are also fuelling her EuroLeague Women ambitions.
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She stated: "I watched the recent Final Four and it is a goal of mine to compete at that level one day. I think for me personally, it could be a good opportunity to play outside of France for a big EuroLeague Women team."
That longer-term vision for these next years dovetails into her possible national team responsibilities. While there are plenty of important major tournaments in the next two years, it's very much a case of all eyes on Paris 2024 for French ballers. Although Fauthoux confessed that there's a lot of water to flow under the bridge until then.
"I don't think as an athlete there is any better feeling than playing an Olympics in your home country," she stated.
"To experience this with my family and friends will be incredible. It still feels so far away and we have so much work to do though."
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She's had a good start in a national team jersey. The calendar year of 2021 harvested a FIBA Women's EuroBasket silver medal and that was followed up with a bronze on her Olympic debut in Tokyo.
The immediate priority now will be the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 in Australia during September. But, like everyone else in the camp, Fauthoux was given a reality check at the Qualifying Tournament back in February when Nigeria took a famous victory, with France also suffering a heavy loss to China.
"Of course, Belgrade was disappointing," reflected the guard.
"We have had a new coaching change and we need more time together to improve and play like we know we can. We have a long summer to prepare for Sydney which should help us be ready," insisted Fauthoux.