Evan Fournier and France Begin Blue-White Tour
The French men’s national basketball team won the European Championship last year, but they won’t be favorites in this year’s FIBA World Cup that begins in Spain on August 30th. The reason? The absences of both Tony Parker and Joakim Noah. New Orlando Magic acquisition Evan Fournier barely missed out on making that EuroBasket winning team last year. That’s not a worry this summer. No Parker means that Coach Vincent Collet will have to depend on guys like Nando De Colo, Antoine Diot, Thomas Huertel, and the 21-year-old Fournier to handle the ball.
Wednesday began what the French Basketball Federation is calling the ‘Blue-White Tour’ by playing the first of several exhibition contests in France. The federation has done an outstanding job of following the team’s preparation and have posted part 1 of their tour coverage. It’s in French, but you see a lot of Fournier as well as teammates such as Nicolas Batum, former Magic man Mickael Pietrus‘ brother Florent Pietrus, and Rudy Gobert.
Bleu Blanc Tour – La Série – Épisode 1 by FFBB
So back to today’s first tour match in Rouen against Belgium. Belgium isn’t exactly a basketball power so this first contest was a nice way for this French side to ease into competition. Evan Fournier did not play in the 79-57 victory over Belgium. He was seen on the bench in street clothes. It’s unknown as to why Evan sat out the contest, but France definitely could have used the 6′ 7″ offensive threat as the team struggled to score for the first 26 minutes of the 40-minute game.
2nd half starting with France only up 36-33 on Belgium. Here’s Evan Fournier in his French polo. pic.twitter.com/tVhzqMAeuc
— Adam Papageorgiou (@adamosgp) July 30, 2014
The French side next have a full week to practice and gear up for a 3-day, 3-game stint that runs from August 8th through the 10th in Pau, France. Opponents will be Croatia, Greece, and Serbia. All strong challengers. I would anticipate seeing Evan actually on the court in these contests.