Killian Hayes, a rising French player in the NBA, is expected to star at Bercy

Leading for two months with the Pistons, Killian Hayes (21) will be one of the highlights of the NBA Paris Game, between Detroit and Chicago Thursday night in Bercy.

The NBA is back in Paris! Three years after Milwaukee’s win over CharlotteThe Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls will face each other in Bercy this Thursday night. In 2020, Nicolas Batum became the French star of the night. This year, all eyes have been on Killian Hayes.

The 21-year-old point guard is a rising French in the NBA. “It will be an amazing experience to play in France in Paris. We take it very seriously. This is really an opportunity for me and my team.”, he said Wednesday, before the Pistons’ practice at Levallois. He was looking forward to having a good time, in front of his friends and family members, some of whom are from Cholet. “There will be a lot of people who haven’t seen me play since I left France”he enjoyed.

They will have the opportunity to see the dimensions taken by the Lakeland, Florida native. The French-American player, the son of two former basketball players, arrived in the NBA two and a half years ago, with very good ratings. The Pistons have drafted him in 7th place, a record for a French player (who is very close to the phenom Victor Wembanyama).

Statistics increased

His first two years were tough: 26 games in 2020-2021, 66 the next. For its third season, the first game produced a worrying curve, with few statistics, and a half-mast address. But with star point guard Cade Cunningham injured, Killian Hayes took his chance and gained confidence.

“When you come to the NBA, there are a lot of expectations. I was hurt at one point, but I never lost my confidence, he explained. And in the end, you get used to it, you gain experience in every game, you start to ‘mature’, adapt. I think I understand the principle of my role, we have to continue this momentum and keep it constant. »

Over the last three months, he’s been gaining momentum: averaging around 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. All with a peak of 26 points against Philadelphia ten days ago, marksmanship is improving, and there are fewer bad nights. That’s all he’s been looking for.

“The NBA is tough, long, 82 games. When you watch the best NBA players, they’re in every game, and that’s what I have to limit, you have to limit the bad plays. Even when the shots don’t go in, you have to find something else to do to help my team win.” clearly the person who now holds the key to the game of his youth team.

In Bercy, Killian Hayes would not think of himself as anyone else, and attempted to create cards to mark spirits. “My role will remain the same, I will not do things that I have never done before, we will stick to the game plan,” he promised.

His trainer, experienced Dwane Casey, underscores “good work” made by his pupil, that is “would be great”. In a very young team, around Jaden Ivey (21), Isaiah Stewart (21) and Jalen Duren (19), Killian Hayes has had time to learn and improve.

And soon the Blues?

The next logical step would be to see him in the French team. Killian Hayes is European U16 champion and vice U17 world champion, but he is yet to play with the As supposed to be for the 2023 World Cup, which he is applying for. Either way, his team wouldn’t mind seeing him join the Blues, which isn’t always the case in the NBA.

“I campaigned for Killian, I hope he will be in the France team for the Olympicslaunched coach Dwane Casey. I think he can be a good playmaker for the team, he has enough talent. » In a position where Nando de Colo, another former Choletais, will need to be replaced someday, this would be good news for the Blues.

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