Kevin Franceschi (BBC Coburg) I’m Playing With A Big Chip On My Shoulder And I’m Just Going To Bring Maximum Intensity

Kevin Franceschi is a 24 year old 190cm guard from Argenteuil, France playing his second professional basketball season and first in Germany with Pro B team BBC Coburg. Last season as a rookie he played with BEHAPPY2 – CB Myrtia (Spain-LEB Silver) playing 30 games averaging 9.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 62.2%. In the states he played with three schools with Weatherford JC (JUCO) playing 9 games averaging 5.6ppg, 1.7rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 37.5%, 3PT: 10.5%, FT: 22.2%, UMKC (NCAA) playing 25 games averaging 2.6ppg and with Oklah.Baptist (NCAA2) playing 22 games averaging 13.9ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 38.9%, 3PT: 21.5%, FT: 82.7%. He spoke to eurobasket about basketball.

Kevin thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been? 

Thanks for interviewing me. I’m in Texas at the moment and my summer has been great, happy to see the people I’m close with here and work on my game. 

Congrats on signing with German Pro B team BBC Coburg. You come from France, but lived abroad the last 5 years. What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball?

Thank you. I know that the Bundesliga is one of the best and most respected leagues in Europe, and that Germany has developed their basketball a lot over the last few years. I’m excited about this coming season. 

After having a solid rookie season in the Spanish Leb silver league, with what expectations are you coming to Germany? What are your personal goals in your second professional season besides the obvious winning?

I expect a lot about myself this season, I’m playing with a big chip on my shoulder, I worked really hard this summer. I am not thinking about any personal awards now, I’m just going to bring maximum intensity and give my team the best chances to compete in the playoffs. 

The BBC Coburg staff is extremely high on your game. What was it that sold you to wanting to come there?

After speaking with the GM and hearing from the head coach I was sold, they expect a lot out of me and I think it was the best option to sign there. 

Let’s talk about your game. You started to play organized basketball very late at the age of 15. You got up at 5Am to work religiously on your game. What was the deciding factor that got you infected with basketball and drew you away from soccer?

I started basketball pretty late compared to the other players yes, I stopped playing soccer at 12 and picked up a basketball. All of my friends started to play it. As far as the love for the game it grew year after year, especially after the age of 15. 

Usually one is born with athleticism, but you gained it through hard work and managed your first dunk at the age of 18. What was your secret to becoming athletic? Something so many dream of and can’t get?

I was a late athlete yes, I wasn’t born with athleticism. I did a lot of work on the track doing sprints and jumps, hills sprints, stairs, resistance bands. Matter of fact at 16 I was up consistantly at 5:30 am, and ran sprints on the track right before going to school, every single day.

You’re a modern guard that can play the positions 1-3. You’re also quick, explosive and possess a good jumper. What other strengths does your game possess?

I think my attitude is my biggest asset, I never give up or put my head down, and this helps me to overcome a lot during a game or a season. Another one that comes to mind is the ‘fun to watch’, my game is entertaining to the fans. 

You can do so much positives things on the court, but what do you feel is still a strength in your game that doesn’t always get noticed right away on the court?

I would say my composure and state of mind during the game, it gets noticed after the season starts, it’s hard to get me out of my rail while I’m focused.

Last season you played with BEHAPPY2 – CB Myrtia (Spain-LEB Silver) playing 30 games averaging 9.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 62.2%. You started red hot averaging 14,8ppg, but a coaching change immensely reduced your minutes after that. How important was it for your development to witness up and downs as a rookie?

It was key for me to go through those ups and downs that early I think. Now I know what it’s like to go through a change of coach and things like that. I really liked my first coach, so it was tough for me to adjust, especially when my minutes dropped, but I hung tough and try to finish the year strong.

How challenging was it battling scoring ace Joey Flannery every day in practice? Was he one of those guys that really tested your defense and helped you get better last season?

Man, Joey was one of the toughest players I’ve played with, we battled every day on the court, but it was always a brotherhood. He was a ‘power guard’, I learned from him and I hope he learned from me. It was tough not seeing him get the minutes he deserved and flourish in this league, but his attitude was always great, through highs and lows. I’m glad I got to play with him last season. 

You played for three schools in 4 years in the states with Weatherford JC (JUCO), UMKC (NCAA) and Oklahoma.Baptist (NCAA2). How important was it for your basketball development having played at so many different schools?

The JUCO change is part of the process, it’s only 2 years so I had to go after that, as far as UMKC and OBU, I learned a lot at both schools, different systems and different coaching style so it was beneficial as far as experience. It’s hard to answer that I think, but nothing beats the states in terms of combining sports and studies, so I think if I would’ve stayed in France I would’ve had to sacrifice one or the other, so I would’ve either been a good ball player with no university degree or the opposite.

You played your first season in the states with Weatherford JC (JUCO) playing 9 games averaging 5.6ppg, 1.7rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 37.5%, 3PT: 10.5%, FT: 22.2%. It was a real culture shock for you living in Texas. What experience will you always remember in Texas that you had never seen before in your life?

Texas was a major culture shock, everything was bigger and people spoke so differently than what I learned in school, and the Texas accent is something real man! But I loved it and I try to come back here when I can, I’ve met great people that became family.

You then moved to UMKC (NCAA) playing 25 games averaging 2.6ppg. What kind of overall experience was it for you playing in the NCAA? Even though you didn’t play much, what positives did you gain from it?

It was a great experience, I played against top competition and practiced hard every day under coach Richardson. I learned so much defensively, but it was tough not seeing the court much. 

How much do you value and remember your 6 point in 10 minutes game in the 83-73 loss against Kansas State? You were very efficient in the time you played against top basketball school Kansas State?

Great experience that game, my mindset was ‘whatever minutes the coach gives me, I’ll make the best of it’, that year I felt like I could’ve done so much more, it motivated me even more to prove myself I deserve to play with the best of them.

You finished your college career with Oklahoma.Baptist (NCAA2) playing 22 games averaging 13.9ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 38.9%, 3PT: 21.5%, FT: 82.7%. You finally got good minutes. How did your game progress in your last season overseas?

I was ‘unleashed’ when I went D2. I improved a lot that year, despite my wrist injury and redshirt season. I was grateful for the opportunity.

Was your 29 point game against SW Oklahoma State one of your best games that you played in your 4 years in the states?

Yes, and many of my games at OBU were the most memorable in my college career. 

How did head coach Quinn Wooldridge give you that last push and help groom and prepare you best for a professional career?

Coach Quinn just let me loose and let me express myself. He knew was I was capable of. I had a great experience with him and coach Hankins, every day was competitive.

Who won a one on one you or Travon Moore?

I love my brother Travon but I would win in one on one.

You played against so many talented players in the NCAA, but who was your toughest opponent that reached the NBA or is in Europe?

I would say Dejean Jones, from Iowa State. He started for the New Orleans Pelicans but ended up getting shot tragically in an apartment. Rest in peace.

How does a summer work out plan look like for you in 2018? Have you switched up things from 2-3 years ago about how you approach getting ready for the upcoming season?

I’ve been on 2-3 workouts a day 6 days a week since the season ended in Spain. A friend of mine (Coach Dirlbeck) helped me with strength and conditioning while in the US. Nothing changed for me, I always come more than ready in the offseason and I give credits to my work ethic and the people around me.

If you had to construct your very own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you pick old or new?

My personal Mount Rushmore
Michael Jordan
Tracy Mcgrady
Allen Iverson
Lebron James
As you can see, all perimeter players!

What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate about who is better: Lebron or Jordan?

To me, Michael will always be first, he changed the whole game/league. He was the ultimate competitor. He didn’t have a weakness. Lebron James is right there though, he is an inspiration to me too.

Tracy Mcgrady said that the Boston Celtics will be the ‘Golden State Warriors of the future’. Do you see that happening?

That would be tough but anything is possible, if the Celtics keep their roster over time, they’re going to be a serious problem, as they already are.

Deandre Ayton was the #1 NBA draft pick in 2018. Do you feel that from sheer talent and experience that Luca Doncic should have been the real #1 draft pick?

You can’t teach size. Ayton had to go number 1 because of size and athleticism, we will see what this year holds for those rookies. I think Doncic is an amazing player and has a bright future in the league.

How did you follow the 2018 NBA Draft? How cool is it having two Germans being drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers?

I watched it in Oklahoma, it was good seeing European players getting drafted. We had a French player in the second round. And it is great for Germany, especially with all the hype around Lebron and the Lakers.

Lebron James makes amazing passes in every game, but really showcased it in a game this season against the Los Angeles Lakers. He already is like a point guard, but if he played just point guard and concentrated only on playmaking how many assists do you feel would he average per game?

He could average 15 assists a game, he is one of the best passers the game has seen. But he makes those passes because he is offensively dangerous, he draws double team then finds the open man. If he only plays PG and focuses on passing he wouldn’t be as efficient.

What was the last movie that you saw? Let me guess: Black Panther?

The last movie I watched was Equalizer 2, and black panther right before that.

Thanks Kevin for the chat.

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