|Ludovic Vaty, who was forced into premature retirement, will continue his role in basketball as a coach in the French national team system|
Ludovic Vaty has joined the coaching staff of the French Basketball Federation (FFBB), eight months after being forced to put a premature end to his playing career.
The former forward/center of BCM Gravelines, who had nine caps at senior level with France, will take on the role of assistant to the U18 French national team head coach Tahar Assed-Liegeon, the FFBB announced on Tuesday.
Vaty was 24 when he received the shocking news last May that he was suffering a heart condition which would prevent him from continuing to practice sport at professional level.
"At first I thought it was a bad joke, I could not believe it," Vaty said several months later, after sufficient time had elapsed for him to assimilate the diagnosis.
The big man was at the peak of his career and more than a firm candidate to be on the French national team which eventually conquered gold at EuroBasket 2013.
In his last active season, he averaged 11 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in the French Pro A as BCM finished in first place in the Regular Season and he came in third in the vote for the best French player in the league.
He had also posted 12.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in the EuroChallenge to propel his team to the Final Four of the competition.
Vaty is not the only former player whom the FFBB incorporated in their coaching structure on Tuesday.
Cathy Melain, a former linchpin of the French women's national team with over 240 international caps, has been appointed head coach of the U16 Women's national team after serving as an assistant on the U18 team.
Melain is a two-time EuroBasket Women champion, as she won gold with France in 2001 and 2009, the last major tournament of her career.
Meanwhile Julie Barennes, who had an excellent track record at youth level and helped France step on the podium at the 2001 European Championship for Cadettes, is assuming the role of Melain's assistant on the U16 French women's team.
There is a strong sense of continuity in the rest of nominations, as the FFBB has in general chosen to confirm the tenure of their successful coaches.
To that effect, and as it was expected, Strasbourg coach Vincent Collet will continue at the helm of the senior men's team, after leading Les Bleus to the top of the podium at last September's EuroBasket in Slovenia.
Similarly, Valerie Garnier remains in charge of the Women's national team after leading them to a silver medal finish in last June's EuroBasket Women, while Jean-Aimé Toupane's long tenure as head coach of the U20 men's team will continue for at least one more summer.