One on one with Julia Franquin

Gepubliceerd op 5 maart 2024 om 13:00

At just 20 years old, Julia Franquin has already established herself as a formidable presence on the basketball court. She has been making waves since she stepped onto the highest level of Belgian basketball with Liège Panthers in 2017, at the tender age of sixteen. Displaying a remarkable blend of skill, athleticism, and determination, Julia is currently averaging an impressive 13 points and 6 rebounds per game this season. Since 2018, she has proudly represented Belgium as a youth international for the national team, the Belgian Cats. What lies ahead for Julia Franquin on her journey to an amazing basketball career? Let's find that! Photo: Fiba Europe

1.  What inspired you to start playing basketball at such a young age?

“My mom was also a basketball player, so she immediately got me start playing basketball. I began at the age of 4, and since then, I haven't been able to stop playing basketball.”

2.  How do you feel about playing at the highest level in Belgium at such a young age?

“I feel honored, because it's a significant achievement. I've been playing in the division since I was 16, so it's really a great accomplishment.”

3.  What kind of player are you?

“I'm always eager to win; losing isn't my thing. However, I'm a friendly player both on and off the court. Laughing with my teammates and coach is super important to me to keep the positive vibe. Only, if someone plays dirty or tries to hurt others on the court, I won't stand for it. In those situations, I might get upset and I won't just let it slide.”

4.  Can you share some memorable moments from your time with the Liège Panthers so far?

“I believe it was during the EuroCup when I felt this way. I was young, and it was the first time for both me and the team, so I really cherished that experience. I would love to do it again!”

5.  What aspects of your game do you feel have improved the most since you started playing for the Panthers?

“Well, probably in every aspect, but especially in terms of my vision of the game. I aim to think smarter and to understand how to execute plays effectively.”

6.  How do you balance your basketball commitments with other aspects of your life, such as school or personal time?

“For school, I'm making an effort to complete each task promptly to avoid wasting time. I excel at managing my time efficiently. As for my personal time, it largely revolves around games, practices, and other commitments, but I've been able to handle it quite effectively. While I may not have the freedom to go out whenever I want, it's not a big deal for me.”

Photo: Fiba Europe

7. What does it mean to you to represent Belgium as a youth international with the Belgian Cats?

“I'm incredibly proud to have been part of the young national team and to have had the opportunity to represent my country. It was a remarkable experience filled with emotions, and playing against a prominent nation made it even more special! Regarding the Belgium Cats, I haven't officially been on the team; however, I participated in the preparations last May, which proved to be immensely beneficial for me.”

8. How do you prepare yourself mentally and physically before a game?

“Mentally, I focus on understanding my opponent's strengths and weaknesses, knowing what they can and cannot do, while also maintaining confidence and staying focused on my own game. Physically, I ensure to have a proper warm-up routine and avoid eating heavily before the game.”

9.  Who are some of your basketball idols or role models, and why?

“I don't really have specific idols, but I enjoy watching basketball games. I often remember great plays and try to replicate them in my own games!”

10.  What are your individual goals for the remainder of this season?

“Finish the season strong, staying injury-free, and set new goals for the upcoming season.”

11.  What advice would you give to young aspiring basketball players who look up to you?

“Believe in yourself through every moment, knowing there will be ups and downs, but continue to find joy in the game. That's what matters most.”

12. It's a difficult question because sometimes setbacks occur unexpectedly?

“When I experienced a cruciate ligament injury, it was extremely challenging to cope with, and the second knee injury was even tougher. However, I maintained motivation by staying close to my family and friends, focusing on positivity. I believe that anything is possible, and nothing can truly stop you. Regarding pressure, I use it as motivation to push myself harder and harder. If I fail, I keep trying again and again until I overcome it.”

13.  What do you enjoy most about being part of the basketball community in Belgium?

“Being in a small country makes it easy to travel around, and we're familiar with each club's playing style.”

14.  Are there any specific areas of your game that you're currently working on improving?

“Of course, I work on every aspect of my game, constantly repeating drills and exercises. Currently, I'm focusing on increasing the speed of my shot.”

Photo: Fiba Europe

15.  How do you see your role within the Belgian Cats evolving in the coming years?

“I prefer to take things step by step, so it's difficult to say at this point. My priority is to secure a spot on the team first, and then I'll focus on finding my role within the team structure.”

16.  Can you share any long-term goals you have set for yourself in basketball?

“I would love to pursue a professional career in basketball at some point and dedicate myself fully to the sport. It would be a fantastic experience to live!”

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