Thomas Heurtel became the French champion with Asvel in 2021 before leaving for Real Madrid and then signing for Zenith St. Petersburg. (Photo: OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE / AFP)
Bypassed by Asvel during the 2021 season, his most successful in terms of points, France international Thomas Heurtel responded briefly on Monday to people who criticized his choice to sign for Zénith Saint-Petersburg, in Russia, given that he did not have “absolutely nothing to screw up”.
On September 21, just a few weeks after he, like all the players of the French national team selected for the European Basketball Championship, signed a sworn statement “showing that he is not committed and is not considering signing with a Russian or Belarusian club“, reminded the French Basketball Federation (FFBB), Thomas Heurtel signed for Zénith Saint-Petersburg. On October 2, the French international leader up to 99 selection played the first minutes in the jersey of the Russian club.
More choices with Blues
A highly criticized decision, which also closed the door to the French team for a year from the 2023 World Cup in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines (25 August – 10 September) and two years from the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Since then, the leader who passed Asvel in 2021, a season during which he achieved his best points per game average of his career, has not spoken on the subject.
On Monday, October 10, in a message posted on social media, the 33-year-old athlete responded curtly to people who criticized his choice. “Just so you know, to anyone who sends me messages or writes comments criticizing me for my decision to come to Russia or any decision in general, let them know that I really don’t care.”. “So don’t be ridiculous and stop wasting time. And please, above all, buy yourself a life!! Thanks in advance”wrote the basketball player crowned champion of France in 2021 with Villeurbanne.
Another former Asvel worried
Apart from Heurtel, two other French basketball players will no longer be in the selection of the French team, until the end of the war in Ukraine, because they signed in Russia. One of them, Livio Jean-Charles, who played 4 games with the blues in his career, in particular played eight seasons for Asvel, from 2011 to 2016, 2017, then again from 2018 to 2020. In particular, he participated in two titles Asvel champion of France. The other Frenchman on the FFBB blacklist is Louis Labeyrie.