26 September, 2016
30 April, 2017
37 Mathias Michel Lessort (Nanterre 92) (photo: Claire Macel)
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FIBA Europe Cup champ Lessort a winner again in NBA Draft

NEW YORK (NBA / FIBA Europe Cup) – Mathias Lessort was the only FIBA Europe Cup prospect selected in the NBA Draft 2017 on Thursday, capping off a successful season with Nanterre 92.

Having been an integral piece to the French side’s championship run in the FIBA Europe Cup, the 21-year-old Martinique-born Lessort heard his named called in the middle of the second round, with the Philadelphia 76ers using the 50th pick to secure his rights.

"I’m proud when I look back at my journey since I left Martinique at 15 years old. I am very proud of what I have achieved and today is a blessing. But this is not an end in itself, I now have to do everything to play in the NBA one day," Lessort told media after being selected in the draft by Philadelphia.

Still unsure what the future holds for him and when he could join the 76ers, the Frenchman could soon reunite with his FIBA U20 European Championship 2014 and 2015 teammate Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who was also drafted by the team last year.

This season, the athletic Lessort provided Nanterre coach Pascal Donnadieu with a sturdy last line of defense, making an impact with a combination of quickness, good instincts and an intimidating wingspan, also progressing as offensive option as the season went along.

Lessort also proved his ability to stay on the floor, appearing in all 20 games in Nanterre’s campaign in the FIBA Europe Cup, averaging 9.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in the European competition.

His excellent play did not go unnoticed by the national team coaching staff spearheaded by Vincent Collet, who included Lessort in France’s 37-player selection pool for the upcoming four-year national team cycle.

Having won both the FIBA Europe Cup and the French Cup in his first season with Nanterre, the player has two more years left on his deal with the club. As the winners of the French Cup, the club from the Parisian suburbs qualified to the Basketball Champions League for next season.