NBA rising Frenchman Killian Hayes was the expected star at Bercy

Excellent for two months with the Pistons, Killian Hayes (21) will be one of the attractions of Thursday’s NBA Paris Game between Detroit and Chicago at Bercy.

The NBA returns to Paris! Three years after Milwaukee beat Charlotteit’s the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls facing off this Thursday night at Bercy. In 2020, the French star of the night was Nicolas Batum. This year, all eyes are on Killian Hayes.

The 21-year-old guard is a rising Frenchman in the NBA. “Playing in France in Paris will be an incredible experience. We take this very seriously. It’s really a chance for me and my team.”, he said Wednesday before the Pistons’ practice in Levallois. He expects to have a great time in front of his friends and family, some of whom will come from Cholet. “There will be a lot of people who haven’t seen me play since I left France”tastes it.

They will have the opportunity to see the measurements taken by the resident of Lakeland, Florida. The Franco-American, the son of two former basketball players, came to the NBA two and a half years ago with very good ratings. The Pistons drafted him at No. 7, a record for a French player (held by the phenom Victor Vembanyama).

Increased statistics

His first two years have been difficult: 26 matches in 2020-2021, 66 in the next training session. The first matches for his third season took a worrying curve, with several statistics and addresses left halfway. But with star guard Cade Cunningham injured, Killian Hayes took his chances and gained confidence.

“Coming into the NBA, there are a lot of expectations. I was hurt at one point, but I never lost my faith, explains. And in the end, you get used to it, you gain experience in every match, you start to “grow” and adapt. I think I understand the principle of my role, we have to continue at this pace and stay steady. »

Over the past three months, he’s been on a roll: averaging 10 points and 5 assists in November, 12 points and 6.6 assists in December, and now 14.6 points and 8 assists since January. With a peak of 26 points against Philadelphia ten days ago, increased shooting and less and less bad nights. That’s all he’s looking for.

“The NBA is tough, long, 82 games. When you look at the best NBA players, they’re in every game, and I’ve got to limit that, you’ve got to limit the bad plays. “Even when the shots aren’t coming, you have to find something else to beat my team.” explains the one who now holds the keys to his young team’s game.

In Bercy, Killian Hayes will not pretend to be another and will try to make a card to record the spirits. “My role will remain the same, I won’t do things I haven’t done before, we will stick to the game plan.” promises.

His coach, the experienced Dwane Casey, emphasizes “great job” prepared by his student “it will be a miracle”. On a very young team, around Jaden Ivey (21), Isaiah Stewart (21) and Jalen Duren (19), Killian Hayes has time to learn and develop.

And soon the Blues?

The logical next step would be to see him in the French national team. Killian Hayes is the U16 European champion and U17 world runner-up, but he is yet to play for the A’s. It should be for the 2023 World Cup he applied for. Either way, his team won’t mind him joining the Blues, which isn’t always the case in the NBA.

“I am campaigning for Killian, I hope he will be in the French team at the Olympicshead coach Dwane Casey. I think he can be a good playmaker for the team, he has enough talent. » That would be great news for the Blues, who will one day need to replace Nando de Colon, another former Choletais.

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