|Life has been a whirlwind for Andrew Albicy since he led France to gold at last year's U20 European Championship|
By Jeff Taylor
Every national team wants a squad that has both youth and experience.
France boss Vincent Collet has many a veteran in his EuroBasket team that's currently 3-0 and playing like a side that has every chance of reaching the podium.
He also has 21-year-old Andrew Albicy, a slick ball-handling and passing Paris-Levallois playmaker who figures to be with Les Bleus for many years to come.
A big-time performer in the youth ranks for France who earned MVP honors at the U20 European Championship last year in Croatia, Albicy has had two golden opportunities since to play for the senior side.
He competed at the World Championship in Turkey and made an immediate impact, scoring 13 points in an upset of Spain on the opening day.
And now he's with the French in Lithuania.
Some might think that Albicy is ahead of schedule.
"Maybe it's fast, but I like the evolution in my career," Albicy said to FIBA Europe.
"It's good for me and I prefer that."
People still talk about Albicy's heroics in Croatia.
Against Spain in the Semi-Final, he poured in 19 points, handed out 10 assists and also came up with four steals as France scraped an 86-83 win.
He then finished with 20 points, four assists, five rebounds and two steals in the title triumph over defending champions Greece.
To be with a senior side, though, one that has several NBA stars and the most famous basketball player ever to come from the country, San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker, is a different thing all together.
"For me, it's a great experience," Albicy says.
"To play with Tony Parker, it's very good for me and helps me in my career.
"He's mentally strong and I can learn from him.
"For sure, he's playing his best basketball for France."
France have spoken often about the importance of this EuroBasket to the sport in their country.
They have three wins in the bag but there is still a very long way to go, starting with a game against Italy on Sunday.
"The Olympics is important for the team and now the team is in a good way for the goal," Albicy says.
What about his own aims?
"My dream is first place here and the NBA, maybe."