It´s the dog days of summer, but the professional European basketball market is buzzing as loud as a Bee´s nest resting under a roof of an Iowa farm just outside Iowa city. Especially in Germany the countries leagues have really had an influx of signings in the last week and it will probably continue in the next few weeks before it will begin to calm down. This is a very testy time for team´s fans as they hope that their teams will get the right mix of players that will spell success for the course of the season. Some fans just aren´t patient and are able to wait for the team´s official press release, but instead are rather impatient and will try to do anything in order to find out which player might come. Some put in false or wanna be rumors and give wild speculation while other´s play detective. For some playing detective means stalking a club´s Instagram and seeing which people have recently followed the club. As soon as a player starts following a club, the wildest speculation starts to run it´s course. Often when a player follows a club, there is a reason for it and often it is the beginning of a relationship with a player and club separated only by the contract. For anyone who might think I have a pseudonym at Schoenen-Dunk(Germany´s most known online basketball forum), I don´t, but I try to read as much as I can. A few days ago, I noticed in the Basketball Lowen Baskets thread that a fan had mentioned that Kevin Franceschi had began to follow the team on Instagram. The fan gave in his 2 cents about this and it didn´t really interest anyone else, but it did interest me. Could an ex Pro B player reach the easyCredit BBL? Well a few years back, the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig had given the ultimate Cinderella story Deandre Lansdowne his BBL break, so why not again now for Franceschi? Franceschi felt amused when I told him about a fan mentioning him in the forum “I didn’t know about this but it is intriguing, it shows how involved the supporters are there. Braunschweig got a great organization and ambitions, they’re hungry. I support that”, warned Kevin Franceschi Now it was time for me to do some detective work.
Kevin Franceschi is a 26 year old 191cm guard that can literally jump out of the building grew up in France, but spent a lot of time in the United Sttaes in his young life. He played high school ball at Romain Rolland HS) and then played at 3 different schools in a span of 4 years playing at Weatherford College (JUCO) averaging 5.6ppg, 1.7rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 37.5%, 3PT: 10.5%, FT: 22.2%, the University of Missouri – Kansas City (NCAA) averaging 2.6ppg and finishing at Oklahoma Baptist University (NCAA2) averaging 13.9ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 38.9%, 3PT: 21.5%, FT: 82.7%. He returned back to Europe in 2017 playing in Spain with BEHAPPY2 – CB Myrtia (Spain-LEB Silver) averaging 9.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 31.1%, FT: 62.2%. In 2018-2019 he made further strides in his basketball career in Germany with BBC Coburg (Germany-ProB) averaging 15.3ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 47.6%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 78.5%. He had his absolute best game as a professional with the German side scorching Rhondorf for 39 points at home on 9 three´s. In his third professional season he played in the second Greek division for Vivechrom A.O. Agriniou (Greece-A2). It is absolutely no secret that the scoring machine is craving for another opportunity in Germany. But this time he isn´t looking little at the Pro B, but looking big at the easyCredit BBL. Could current German NBA player Dennis Schroeder have a say in his future in Germany?
Only a few minutes after I read this interesting tidbid about Kevin Franceschi at Schoenen-Dunk, I reach the athletic 191cm French player in Paris. Just like many other players, he has had to deal with the whole COVID-19 crisis as best as possible. In the last months, he also found some time to return back to Germany to train with his ex teammate Yasin Turan who will play for the BSW Sixers Sandersdorf (ProB) this season after a 6 year stint in Coburg. The French man has been concentrating on working on his game and just making sure to capitalize on every day to get better in the lab, but also remembered using the extra time for other important things. “ COVID-19 affected me on many levels, but I try to use it as positives. I spent a lot of time with my mum and brothers in Paris, I rarely get to do that, I’m usually in the US training in the summer”, stressed Kevin Franceschi. Players have had to be really innovative, not picky and extra dedicated in getting in the best workouts, even if COVID-19 didn´t always make it an easy task. “In the beginning it was rough, just playground and “street-workouts” I used it to rebuild the foundation and get sharper mentally. As time went on, I left for Germany and had access to a weight room and a gym more usually”, added Kevin Franceschi. In the last months the ex BBC Coburg player didn´t only continue to add to his game in the lab and spend quality family time, but also let the whole COVID-19 mess help make him stronger as a man. “ You can’t take anything for granted in life, I thought that this summer would be as usual, and that I wouldn’t have a problem to find a great opportunity to move up and compete against stronger competition, but it made everything harder. I just have to stay patient, it’ll come”, warned Kevin Franceschi.
After his very potent season in Germany, he made the next step last season in Greece with Vivechrom A.O. Agriniou (Greece-A2) playing 21 games averaging 16.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 28.9%, FT: 75.2%. He showed his consistency not only as a scorer scoring in double figures in 19 of 21 games, but filled the stat sheet like usual. He felt very comfortable in Greece and even if his game might be better suited to the German style, his fine game showed on the court in Greece. “ It was great, I had a great coach Ioannis Diamantakos that taught me a lot about the game, the league was very competitive, lot of great players, they breath and eat basketball there. The style in Greece is different, it is more of a physical and half court league, a lot of plays, pick and roll, etc. In Germany the game is faster and more athletic, a lot more transition game, which would fit me better ”, stated Kevin Franceschi. Two seasons ago, he stated in an interview that he felt that he had put his mark on the German Pro B. Did he feel as if he had also left his mark on Greece division 2? “I think I did yes, I’m always looking for improvement in my game so I always see the mistakes and things I need to work on the following summer. I grew a lot, especially mentally, it’s important to learn how to play for different playstyles, to adapt quicker when needed”, stressed Kevin Franceschi. If he ever does return back to Greece, he definitely will be ready for the difficult Greek names. In his first season in Greece, he didn´t waste anytime producing special nicknames for his teammates.
Let´s turn back to Germany, the Schoenen-Dunk fan comment about Kevin Franceschi and how is Dennis Schroeder involved in all of this. Recently the French guard took part at a Summer League in France called the Amiral League with many French national team players and other 1st league players like Charles Kahudi and Amara Sy. He was named the revelation of the tournament. This was a great opportunity for the talented guard to make a name for himself and it was an opportunity that he will never forget. “ It was great, I haven’t played in France in a while, last summer I was at the Skinz League in Oklahoma city, and this year the Amiral League in Cergy. Amara Sy, who is one of the main ambassadors of French Basketball, put up an amazing event, in a short time span, the competition was great and the atmosphere amazing. I always knew I could compete with accomplished players and I showed that in France. It definitely brought a lot of exposure, but now it’s not up to me. I controlled what I could, that’s all I know”, warned Kevin Franceschi. In the last years there have been special Cinderella stories of guys making the easyCredit BBL from lower leagues in Germany like a Kameron Taylor, Zack Wright or Chris Carter so why not Kevin Franceschi? He definitely has a big heart for Germany. “ I love the culture in Germany, people are respectful and they love sports, so I fit in well there. My hunger is big, it’s a very competitive league and I hope to get an opportunity”, stressed Kevin Franceschi. When a player begins to follow a professional team like on Instagram, there is usually a reason and there definitely was a link between him and the Braunschweig organization. “I got in indirect contact and then direct contact with Dennis Schröder, but nothing concrete yet. I have a lot of respect for him to take his time to talk with me about his team. Very humble guy, for his stature. Besides that I’m staying patient for the right fit”, warned Kevin Franceschi. A great thing about Kevin Franceschi is that he knows he is a strong player and has his limitations and knows he has to keep grinding, but a certain touch of being arrogant doesn´t hurt either. “I know I can compete in 1st league and have an impact. But I also know I have to prove myself. I keep the same hunger to learn and improve, with that I think I’ll be fine”, stressed Kevin Franceschi.
As he continues to work diligently hard of improving and moving up the basketball ladder, he knows that there are certain area´s of his game that he needs to get better at. One of those area´s is his three pointer. He hasn´t had the best percentages in the last two seasons in Germany and Greece with 28% and 30%, but the guy can explode on any night and hit 6 or 7 three´s as if it was the easiest thing. “My catch and shoot needs to be more dead on. It’s repetitions and repetitions, it’ll grow a lot more this season”, expressed Kevin Franceschi One thing he doesn´t need work on is sharpening his attitude, because it is as piercing as a shark´s tooth. He understands 100% why he is on the court and is able to bring that exemplary attitude where ever he has played in his career He is a player that entertains the fans and inspires his teammates to play better. “ I give everything I have every day, practices and games, and the fans always stuck with me, they pay to come watch basketball games and it’s our jobs as athletes to give maximum intensity to help the team win and something fun to watch with the way we play”, warned Kevin Franceschi. Kevin Franceschi may reach the easyCredit BBL or he may not. One thing is sure though, he will have a job somewhere this season in Europe. easycRedit BBL or not, his chip on his shoulder will always be there no matter if he were even to reach the NBA or Euroleague. Nobody can take that away from him or strip that chip. “The chip on my shoulder will continue to grow until I leave the game, it is my strength. When I will lose that hunger, I won’t be a threat anymore, I never consider myself the most talented, but my work ethic and my mindset helped me exceed the expectations that people had of me”, warned Kevin Franceschi . The chip will always be there and it is what will continue to get him the good basketball jobs every season. Everybody knows that in life it´s always about who you know and being in the right place at the right time especially in the NBA. He already seems to have Schroeder in his corner. Now he needs head coach Pete Strobl a guy who demonstrated last season that he had audacity reeling in players from lower leagues. Maybe it will happen again with Kevin Franceschi as there would be a second Pro B to BBL Cinderella story in Braunschweig after the BBL birth of Deandre Lansdowne was established there. .