Amara Sy, the fine career of a French basketball player who is retiring

It is not necessarily his longevity that makes him a man with a particular history. It is rather the whole course of man that there is behind, and that he tells in an interview granted to the newspaper Le Figaro.

The “Admiral” – his nickname – grew up in Pigalle, not that of tourists, not that of the trendy bars of the capital, that of misery, syringes, rats, prostitutes who leave him change when he goes to them. buy cigarettes.

Unsanitary accommodation of 20m² where the whole family, seven people, lives and sleeps crammed together. Mom and Dad work hard to clean, and even if “my parentshe said, have always made sure that we have clothes, that we eat”the expulsion from the Parisian slum will change his life, for the better.

Moving to Cergy, in the Paris region:“There were green spaces, fruit, it was like vacation” he remembers. There were also the playground basketball, small concrete courts, where he plays, like everyone else, with holes in his shoes. He develops there, according to Vincent Collet, the coach of the French team, mobility and motor skills out of the ordinary. Amara Sy explains: “80% of what I know how to do was learned on playgrounds.”

Vincent Collet pushed for him to play with the Blues of Tony Parker and Boris Diaw. But the Parisian had already given his word to the Malian selection, the country of his parents. Missed opportunity? A little, being a French international, he admits, he would have been treated differently, with more sponsors, better contracts and greater respect.

Perhaps then we would have spoken of Amara Sy in the NBA … who suffered three tries, three failures. It’s not his favorite American anecdote. He prefers to remember with a smile his title of world champion of “one against one”, in Los Angeles in 2004 where he beat a legend of street basketball.

In the United States, he was the unknown, while in France, Amara Sy was already champion. In his 22-year career, he has accumulated collective titles and personal awards. In the club department: Paris, where he plays today, Le Mans, Monaco, Athens, and of course Asvel, in Villeurbanne. He made four visits and the Lyon club, now managed by Tony Parker, decided on April 16 that Amara Sy’s number would never be assigned again. That evening, on the floor, Amara Sy cried a little. Talented and hardworking, for those who knew him, Amara Sy has no regrets. He enjoyed a lot: 514 games, 4,815 points scored. No regrets and a pride: his three little brothers have all become professional basketball players. And that had never been done.

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