Killian Hayes (in the Choletais jersey in 2017) played for twelve years in the Mauges.
/ AP / SIPA
Killian Hayes, the 19-year-old former Choletais, is one of the five French players selected for the NBA draft, which will take place on the night of Wednesday to Thursday.
The playmaker has a lot in common with Tony Parker.
Educators who know him well predict a good career for him, but there is still a long way to go.
Thursday morning, he may enter the history of the draft for French basketball players.
Killian Hayes, 19, having completed his training in Cholet (Maine-et-Loire), will be selected among the most promising players in the NBA.
He should even do better than Franck Ntilikana (ranked 8th in 2017) and Joakim Noah (9th in 2007), the two best drafted Frenchmen so far.
In 2001, Tony Parker was selected only in 28th position, but he remains, by far, the most brilliant Habs in the powerful American league.
There are many similarities between Hayes and Parker.
Like his elder, the future maugeois rookie evolves as playmaker. “As soon as I saw Killian in U13 or U15, we could already imagine a very bright future for this boy, incense Thierry Chevrier, director of Cholet basketball.
When he played his first game with the pro team, the comparison is glowing, but for me it was a second Tony Parker.
He has real talent.
He has everything to succeed.
He has so many strengths in his game that little can stop him in his development.
Same position, but different profiles nonetheless.
Killian is left-handed, Tony right-handed.
The first measures 1.96, the second 1.88 m.
"We must let him live his adventure in the hope that it leads him as high as possible," insists Vincent Collet, the coach of the France team, a little annoyed by the comparison.
Very strong mentally
The two basketball players however also resemble each other by their precocity in reaching the highest level.
“Killian crosses obstacles with a certain ease, continues Thierry Chevrier.
In U16, U18 or U21 [at Cholet], he was always outclassed and he always dominated his subject with ease.
We could not be wrong about the future of this young.
"He is very talented, but we can not predict how it will turn out for him in the NBA, where he will have everything to prove", tempers Erman Kunter.
🏀 #NBA: Killian Hayes could become the highest drafted Frenchman in history!
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The CB coach details his analysis of the one who played in Ulm in Germany last season: “In terms of pure basketball, he has an American style, because he likes the fast game and that fits well with the NBA.
On the mental level, he is armed and is not under pressure.
The only danger for him is the physical aspect.
He is very young, and it will be a question of being ready to accept the rhythm of the matches which will follow one another.
He will have to work a lot on this plan, because he is only 19 years old.
During the six months that I had him in Cholet, he did not like this specific job very much.
The similarities do not end there: the two men are driven by great ambition and self-confidence.
Thierry Chevrier: “When I see Killian and Tony, they are born competitors who want to succeed and who have this dual American and French-European culture.
It is a real asset to integrate into the first league in the world.
Finally, a last analogy, their personal history (born of an American father who came to Europe) and their French-style training course, Cholet for Hayes, Center Fédéral and PSG Racing for Parker.
Vincent Collet concludes: “All the harm we can wish for Killian is to follow in the footsteps of Tony Parker.
But the road is still long because Tony's career was exceptional.
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Another youngster trained in CB in the NBA
Another youngster trained in CB in the NBA
Hayes is the seventh player trained in Cholet basketball who will set foot on the floors of the NBA for seventeen years, after Rigaudeau, De Colo, Beaubois, Seraphin, Gelabale and Gobert (the only one still playing there).
Thirty French players have already played in the NBA.