Elie Okobo: 'This EuroBasket could be the best ever'

2022-08-02 16:33
Credit: FIBA Media
Credit FIBA Media

Elie Okobo has long been heralded as an exciting talent for the French national team and FIBA EuroBasket 2022 could present the perfect platform to make a splash on the international stage.

The 24-year-old guard earned a first senior international cap back in 2017, but is still relatively inexperienced when it comes to national team appearances. Okobo was one of the standout performers for France in the recent window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European Qualifiers and relishes being part of 'Les Bleus'.

"I am always so happy when I am called to come play for the national team, and I want to help the guys win the next games to keep our great dynamic going," he told FIBA. "That feeling to represent your country, and be in a team full of very good talents that have been winning so much in the last couple of years is very exciting." 

Elie Okobo

Elie  Okobo
Position: PG
Age: 24
Height: 188 cm
Weight: 82 kg
Birth place: France

Okobo has the opportunity to become a more established figure in the team and is part of the preliminary EuroBasket roster as preparations ramp up for Vincent Collet's side. Injuries have already halted the original plans, but there will still be fierce competition for places in the coveted final 12.

After an impressive season with LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne and a much-awaited transfer to AS Monaco, Okobo enhanced his chances during the recent national team window as a solid contributor yet still acknowledges the need to keep pushing forward.

"Every time I go to the training camp and play games with the national team, I always learn a lot. That’s a very positive and constructive experience and I always embrace it."

It's an exciting time for French basketball. They have grand ambitions - as well as high expectations - leading into the rest of the current international cycle that also includes next year's World Cup and the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Okobo and France resume World Cup European Qualifiers action later this month with two games before it is full force for EuroBasket glory as they head to Cologne, Germany for an exciting Group Phase.

So, it is no wonder that players are desperate to be involved, though Okobo heeds caution in an attempt to avoid looking too far into the future. Medals at major tournaments have been a consistent theme for France, but the challenge now is to start winning titles again.

"I am taking it one step at a time," he said. "The first one is the next window, and after that there is the EuroBasket, which could be the best continental tournament ever. The goal is to win, and all the guys are very excited. The coming cycle with all those important tournaments leading to the 2024 Paris Olympics could be a fantastic opportunity, and France can make history with the super talented guys we have.

The recent years have been showing the world what we are capable of, and the goal is to keep being in the same dynamic for a long time," Okobo finished.

 

 



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