Le Méridional – Exciting prospects for Fos Provence Basket after ten years of presence in Marseille
This Wednesday, January 18, will be a turning point in the development history of Fos Provence Basket. First of all, because the Black and Yellow club recently celebrated ten years of presence in Marseille through these matches, which were transferred to the Palais des Sports, called the “Marseille Basket Series”.
A little over ten years ago, on December 29, 2012, the club tried to establish itself permanently in the second largest city of France, surfing the wave of “Marseille 2013 European Capital of Culture”.
The first match organized against the prestigious Pau-Lacq-Orthez club was a great success with more than 3000 spectators and won the finish (95-73). Amidst the resounding victories, spectacular moves and intense matches, many other great evenings have come throughout the seasons.
“At the Palais des Sports, our matches were always attended by spectators”remembers the president of the club, William Raffa. “Crowds are now over 3,500 and we recently broke a new attendance record against Monaco on December 27 with 4,000 fans. Plus, it shouldn’t take long! In any case, this proves that Marseille is the country of basketball. It should also be noted that media enthusiasm is always higher during the matches we hold at the Palais des Sports.
Ten years and 54 games later…
Ten years later, the Ditchen club played just 54 games at the Palais des Sports in Marseille and won the loyalty of the public, regularly attracting 3,000 spectators per match, especially since joining the first division.
It was the initial dream to present the highest level of French basketball to the Marseille community. Almost ten years after their first match, Fos Provence Basket hosted Monaco, one of the biggest teams in Europe, led by American star defender Mike James.
With Boulogne-Levallois, a new page is about to be opened in this story. Fast forward to this coming decade and the 55th match of Fos Provence Basket in Marseille (10th game of Betclic Elite). the enclosure will be configured to reach its maximum capacity of 6,000 seats for the first time.
The arrival of the phenom Victor Vembanyama, who promised the first pick in the next Draft to join the NBA, passed him by and all the tickets for the meeting were sold out in less than 48 hours.
The 19-year-old 2.21-meter prodigy has won everything in his path this season, finishing first in the list of the best scorer (22.4), the best rebounds (9.6), the best blocker (3.1 points) and the best rating. Championship 26.3. This is the best statistical line in the last two decades in the French first division.
“For us, it will be a game of records. The “Wemby” phenomenon will attract 6,000 spectators, as well as 600 VIPs, will be broadcast in the United States through agreements between partners, personalities, the league and the NBA.William Raffa continues. “Obviously, it will be a match that will require a review of many of our organizational principles to ensure an unforgettable evening for everyone. The teams are doing everything to make it a true basketball festival and a great showcase for all French basketball. Finally, the victory will be the icing on the cake (…). Our challenge today is to get the most out of the Mets event and surf “Wembamania.”
New challenges to meet
For Fos Provence Basket, this first match in this new configuration is a great reward and another achievement in a long development process. Another challenge for BYers could be repeating the feat of welcoming a large number of fans during a new championship game.
In addition, William Raffa considers everything that the club intends to do away from the light of professional courts in order to continue to promote the youngest basketball experience and to continue cooperation with partner clubs and friendly structures.
“Marseille shouldn’t be just matches at the Palais des Sports. We need to go further with more participation in the Marseille area”he says. “This will be realized through citizens’ actions, 3×3 tournaments in the center of neighborhoods, in cooperation with important local actors. The aim is to spread the culture of basketball in the Marseille area and to act as a locomotive, a showcase, a sounding board in the service of basketball, due to our position as the only professional club in all of Provence. Youth from Provence. This will also allow us to be more attractive to partners who will support our project both for their sports and social ambitions.”
Thus, more than 1,200 young licensees from nearly forty Committee 13 clubs and neighboring departments will be present at the Palais des Sports, accompanied by 200 coaches, ahead of the event this Wednesday. In particular, they will participate in a conference with former coaches Rémi Giuitta, Alain Weisz and France coach Vincent Collet. Another way to act as a locomotive to promote and develop Provençal basketball through the Marseille Basket Series.