Half-Court Press: Christelle Diallo

14. Christelle Diallo (France)
Christelle Diallo would love Kobe Bryant on her team in a 3x3 game

A dominant presence in the paint at the U20 European Championship Women, France center Christelle Diallo has set sights on winning the last missing piece in her set of medals from youth competitions.

As a key part of one of the most coveted generations in all of Europe in the past decade, the 20-year old Diallo with France has two bronze medals from U16 European Championships, a bronze and a silver from U18 European Championships, and a silver medal from the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women.

The aim in Samsun is to win gold, but before Diallo and France make their final push towards the highest place on the podium, met with her for another edition of Half-Court Press.

What's your best basketball memory?
When I won the silver medal at the FIBA U17 World Championship for Women.

When did you start playing?
I started playing when I was nine.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?
My physical strength is my advantage. Also, I have good hands and good moves when I post up. But I have to work on my shooting, that is my weakness.

Playing on the senior national team one day and winning a medal at a future EuroBasket means...
That would be a big honour to play for the senior team. It is one of my dreams.

If you can play 1-on-1 in an empty gym against any player in the world, who would that be?
Candace Parker.

If you would play a 3X3 game, which other two players would be on your team?
Kobe Bryant and Candace Parker.

Which is the best basketball game you've ever played in or watched?
It was this season at the Euroleague Women Final Eight when I played for Bourges Basket against UMMC Ekaterinburg. They had the best players in the world, and to play against them and see them play together was great. For me, as a young player, to be able to play at the next level, it was important to see how good that team can play.

Who is the most serious player on your team off the court and who is the biggest joker?
We are serious when we need to be serious, but Marie Mbuyamba is definitely the biggest joker.

What was the first you thing you packed to come to this tournament?
My phone.

What is the one thing or one person you cannot live without?
My mum.

What are you going to eat when no one is looking?

If the coach comes for dinner, what are you going to cook him?

Whatever he wants, but it would be African food.


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