Begarin, Kamagate… these Frenchmen who dreamed of the NBA

Some Frenchmen have tried their luck in the draft and during the Summer League. However, they had to postpone their NBA dream.

There were a few who hoped to head to the NBA. Finally they returned to France. In addition to Juhann Begarin, we mention Ismaël Kamagate.

Last May, the 21-year-old Parisian was named the best defender of the French championship for the 2021/2022 season. He was then picked 46th overall by Detroit and then sent to Denver in a trade. The French pivot’s franchise eventually planned to let him toughen up and develop an additional season in the Old Continent, only to continue his progression before going to assist Nikola Jokic in the Denver racket.

Be patient and therefore work as Juhann Begarin continues to do. Selected 45th by the Celtics in 2021, the Guadeloupe native then participated in the Las Vegas Summer League with the Boston franchise. Arriving in mainland France at the age of 15, the native guard from Les Abymes remains one of our most promising basketball players.

Patience, work and effort…

Hugo Besson is also worried. The son of Jean-Paul Besson (Vincent Collet’s assistant at Levallois) was the 58th pick (the last one held) by the Pacers in the last draft. Then transferred to the Bucks, he participated in the Summer League with the Milwaukee franchise. Not retained in the Bucks workforce, he returned to France and signed with Levallois.

The Angers native was coming off a solid season in Australia with the New Zealand Breakers, where he averaged 14 points, 4 rebounds and 2.3 assists. For Yoan Makoudou, the story was a little different. The Melun native watched the 2022 NBA draft go undrafted. Of course, the former strongman of the Cholet received a blow to the head. His dream has evaporated.

Not NBA for the French but the Euroleague

I was in the hotel in front of the TV and I saw the names go by without anyone calling out my names. Now bounce! ». He does it and not in any club: in Monaco where he has signed up for the next four seasons. After five years in Cholet, he discovered the Euroleague with the Roca Team. The strong 22-year-old full-back, however, was courted by many teams such as Levallois, Paris Basketball, the Italians from Bologna or the Spanish from Manresa:

It was a big milestone for me to show that I was ready to perform in this kind of team with high expectations. It’s a good way to progress. My ambitions are simple. No matter where I am, I want to be the best player possible. I have to keep learning because I’m still young. If I can have the same impact in Monaco as I did in Cholet, I will be the first to be satisfied. While I’m in the field…”.

Drafting a player and letting him play in Europe is a common thing in the NBA. This is the concept of draft and storage. For those stuck in the dock (for now), they can think of a big Big League name for consolation: Nikola Jokic. Selected by Denver as the 41st pick in the 2014 draft, the Serbian was made available to KK Mega Basket in 2014 before joining Colorado for the start of the 2015/2016 season. When there is the level…

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