Hamadi Ndiaye, Senegalese adventurer in Elan Béarnais

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At the age of thirty-five, Hamadi Ndiaye appears to have at least temporarily put his bags alongside Alain Bernier Pau Lac Orthes, a legendary French basketball club. For RFI, the Senegalese pivotal returned to a rich career that saw him leave Dakar in 2004, traveling through the USA and NBA, China, Lebanon, the Philippines, Israel, Spain, Italy and finally France.

It’s been eighteen months since Hamadi Ndiaye settled at Alain Bernier Pau-Lac-Orthes, a legendary French basketball club which is almost an achievement. The Senegalese has rarely stayed in the same squad, as he has developed into around fifteen teams since his professional debut in 2010. I am well settled in Boexplains the man who extended his contract there twice, in December 2020 and then in June 2021. I feel good. I really like the supporters club. I love the atmosphere. And then I had the experience of living all over the world “.

Inspired by his father’s travels

The 35-year-old hub is not exaggerating. Before settling in France, in Gravelines-Dunkerque (2019-2020) and then in Elan (since October 2020), he went through the United States, the NBA legend, China, Lebanon, the Philippines, Israel, Spain, Italy…” The experience in China is one of the most memorableHe says, when asked which country affected him the most. I left the NBA for China. They were two different worlds. I expected more than what I experienced there. It was a very good experience. When I got there, for example, I did not expect to see such ardent fans. Somewhat like the Philippines, which was one of my favorite countries. It was amazing in Israel. In Italy too. I’ve always wanted to experience these things, with people, instead of watching them on TV or through stories “.

To represent the world, Hamadi N’Diyi did not need a screen when he was a young man based in Dakar. It was enough to listen to his father, an employee of the World Bank. ” There were the stories my father used to tell me when he came back from all his travels around the worldHe remembers. During my youth, I was really focused on studying to show him that I really deserved. What he cared about was studying, not sports. That’s why I took so long to play basketball “.

At around the age of 15-16, the teenager is more involved in the orange ball, and he is the one who mainly played soccer goalkeeper for fun. ” I really started doing this sport to get a scholarship and go to the United States In 2004, thanks to the Basketball Without Borders detection program in Africa, Hamadi Ndiaye was spotted. A few months later, he left his family for the American dream.

The NBA was not an end in itself

After completing high school in California, and then studying at Rutgers University in New Jersey, the Senegalese tries his luck in the biggest basketball tournament in the world. Contrasting experience in the NBA: In the span of four years, between 2010 and 2014, Hamadi Ndiaye played only about thirty games for the Washington Wizards and Sacramento Kings. Interspersed with numerous paragraphs in the NBA waiting room, its own development league, as well as by the self-employed in the Chinese championship. At one point, this formidable defender decided to stop the charges against him.

When I left the NBA, I had absolutely no regrets. I enjoyed my time there, to improve myself and prepare for the career I had at that time. Those NBA moments were priceless and really shaped me into the man I became after him.he explains. For me, getting into the NBA wasn’t easy. being drafted [recruté en 2010, Ndlr] It really required a real fight. In those days, it was much more difficult when I was an African player “.

I decided on my own not to return to the NBA.continued. I started enjoying seeing the world. I also wanted to start being respected for my talents in teams that wanted my skills and I wasn’t just 15And team player “.

This is the period during which Hamadi Ndiaye won with the Teranga Lions. ” In 2013, it was my first time with the national team and we were able to win the bronze medal in the AfroBasket and thus qualify for the World Cup. Then, in 2014, as Spain reached the last 16 of the World Cup against the Spaniards, these are memories I will never forget. “, He says.

Pass it on to the youth

Next, Hamadi Ndiaye won third place in the AfroBasket, in 2017, and played in the 2019 World Cup. Will this World Cup in China be his last experience of selection or does he hope to be part of the joint 2023 edition-organized in particular by Philippines? “I don’t know how to answer that question.He laughs. I never announced my international retirement. But I respect the direction the national team has taken with a new generation “.

Youth is another source of motivation for the traveler. ” I still enjoy a lot playing, winning matches and above all passing on my experience to other players and to the youth.Confirms. This is very important to me. I work a lot for the next generation, even if I don’t decide when to stop “.

And he concludes a few weeks before the end of the French championship: ” Basketball has taken me all over the world. I managed to live in different cultures and worlds. Living with people I couldn’t imagine living with when I was in Senegal. It’s something I’ve always appreciated: meeting new people, new cultures, and being able to experience things that weren’t so much imaginable when I was young in Senegal. Being able to go around the world, like I did, and being able to experience what I’ve lived through basketball is really something that sets my career up a bit and I love it from the bottom of my heart. »

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