France And A Quiet Stroll For De Colo

Nando De Colo (France)
Chips in with 8.8 points in 20 minutes-a-night for France: Nando De Colo

Combo guard Nando De Colo got his first taste of a major tournament at EuroBasket 2009 and has been a staple of the French national team ever since.

EuroBasket 2013 however could have been a break in his international career.

The 26-year-old completed a long and often difficult rookie season in the NBA with play-off finalists San Antonio Spurs, and could have preferred to spend his summer free time far from Slovenia.

But the thought of not responding to coach Vincent Collet's call did not cross his mind, as for him playing for France goes hand-in-hand with his personal development.

"This summer I wanted to come to the national team because since three-four years we've been working together and we want to do something important for our country," De Colo told

"I also try to work on myself, to improve and be prepared for next season too, and I can do both at the same time.

"I don't compare club and national team, of course last year I played less than I used to in the past but it's not because I play more for the national team that I want to play for myself, I am here for the team."

"Of course it's also good for me to play in the summer more time and get into game rhythm, it's good for me and my next season."

De Colo has been around with Les Bleus long enough now to be able to compare the French side that will do battle with hosts Slovenia on Wednesday for a semi-final spot at EuroBasket 2013, to previous reiterations of the national team.

"It's not the same like two years ago (at EuroBasket 2011), because we miss some players on the team," he said.

"But I think we did a very good job I think, we have worked well together.

"Now it's down to one game tomorrow [Wednesday], so we must do our best to win this game, nothing else matters."

Even if France look different, De Colo's role on the team remains basically unchanged.

12. Nando De Colo (France)
Nando De Colo is not worried ahead of France's clash with hosts Slovenia

He contributes about 20 quality minutes in every encounter and serves as a jack of all trades for Collet in the backcourt, averaging 8.8 points and 1.9 rebounds-per-game so far in the tournament.

What has changed however for the former Cholet and Valencia player is that, after one year's exposure to the nature of the game on the other side of the Atlantic, he can appreciate some differences today between the two worlds.

"There are a lot of things [that are different], I think that in the NBA the game is faster than in Europe," he said.

"In Europe you play more like 24 seconds on every possession, and of course the game is longer in the NBA, you have more athleticism."

There are plenty of other differences off the court, especially when the French international compares everyday life in Europe and in Texas.

"There are things [I miss] not only from France, I was also three years in Spain so it's more like things from Europe.

"To do some small, maybe stupid things, like walking in the street."

"San Antonio is so big that every day you must take the car to do anything."

"That is one thing I miss, together of course with my family and my friends because it was much easier for them to come to Spain to see me than in San Antonio."

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