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Belgium rising star Allemand inspired by playing for Tony Parker
TENERIFE (FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018) - Exciting rising star Julie Allemand has been reminding everyone why she is a WNBA draftee with some super performances for Belgium at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018.
While headline contributors Emma Meesseman and Kim Mestdagh have been grabbing much of the limelight on the team's historic debut at the event, the displays of the dynamic Allemand has been another seriously bright spot.
One of the few players who didn't play in Belgium's campaign at last year's FIBA Women's EuroBasket - where they earned a historic first-ever podium finish - there seems to be an element of making up for lost time.
Her development has also been helped by playing in France for Lyon, and of course, the legendary Tony Parker - something which inspires the guard.
"Playing in Tony Parker’s club is special," declared Allemand. "It can give you pressure because he expects a lot from you, but for me it's a great chance because it's the style of playing I want to be able to play as a point guard.
"He knows how to organize the game, he can create for the team and also for himself, when he knows the team needs him. He is an inspiration for me and I need to learn from his advice to grow and to try to become a player like him."
Ironically, Allemand is now preparing to face France in the Last Eight of the competition and this derby game cuts more deeply than just basketball.
"We want to have revenge after the loss of our soccer team against France in the Semi-Finals of the (FIFA) World Cup," she laughed. "Playing against France in the Quarter-Finals is not something new. We are used to playing against them with the youth teams. But this time it's gonna be different as I play in Lyon during the season.
"It's even more exciting because I want to be back in Lyon with the win so they can't laugh if we lose as it will annoy me all season long. The motivation will be higher than usual.
"What’s good is the fact that I've played both with, and also against some of their players during the season so I know their strengths and weaknesses, it can be something extra for the game," the 22-year-old pointed out.
"I also know their way of playing, their hard defense and their mentality of fighting until the end."
You can follow our Blog throughout the tournament - including to follow how Allemand and Belgium do against France in the Quarter-Finals.