Spotlight : Thidiane N’Diaye Co-organizer of the Basketball Tournament On My Court

Interview transcription

Introduce yourself in a few words

So let me introduce myself, my name is Tidiane, I’m 26 years old. I’m co-organizer of the On My Court tournament which takes place in Marseille and I’m above all a big sports fan of all sports.

Tell us about your background

So my journey, personally, I started basketball late, around 16-17 years old. So I started in the U18 region then I was able to play in the U20 France and switched to the U20 region. Afterwards, I played a year in pre-national and the rest of my career I played in national 3 knowing that during my career, during my time in a training center, I had access to training and a few matches in national 2.

What motivated you to start playing Basketball?

I have always loved basketball. I was lucky to grow up in a time when there were a lot of movies that featured basketball, including Coach Carter, Magic Basket. I had a lot of video games too. And at the time there was a city stadium that was created in my neighborhood, in my hood. There are educators who took care of me and who pushed me to go to my first basketball training and it was love at first sight.

Which moment in your career so far has made you the proudest, and why ?

So honestly it’s my first two years with the SMUC where I was able to play in a training center in France U20. Because I’m really starting from afar, I was really the worst. and from the first season, I already had a good role in the first season, but from the second season, I was already a starter, I already had a important role and I had made a lot of progress. It is my greatest pride.

What where the main challenges you encountered in your career and how did you overcome them?

At first it was adversity, self-management. Before the games I had trouble concentrating, I was very scared, I learned to manage the pressure. And the second challenge I encountered was really the injuries. I really really started learning about sleep, diet, stretching and getting to know my body. Honestly, it took a while to overcome them. Now I do a lot of physio I do a lot of rehabilitation but above all I set myself a lot of goals. To stay focused whether it’s in the easy times or in the difficult times. Always keep your goals and chase after them even if it takes longer.

What motivates you to push your limits and constantly improve?

Honestly it’s really passion in reality. I couldn’t explain it word for word. But I am very passionate. And we will say, I like, despite the pain, to have results behind. So I’m ready for anything. I have always been a player of energy and I have always imposed respect because I work a lot. It’s the passion.

What advice would you give to young people who want to succeed?

To be as disciplined as possible. Continue to train, self-evaluate and above all listen to the advice around you. Don’t ignore anyone and take everyone’s advice and try to make it a positive thing.

What values or qualities are essential for success?

I would say discipline, work ethic. I think that humility in sport even if you are a player who trashtalks and likes to provoke, humility I think in sport is still essential to move forward. And question yourself too.

What is your vision for the development of basketball in the coming years?

I find that in terms of club, in general, basketball in France has evolved a lot and continues to develop so it’s okay I don’t have too much to say about that. And in terms of urban events or tournaments, continuing to discuss, continuing to organize tournaments, continuing to give players visibility and confidence and why not outside of that, bringing them to clubs, helping them to have a good setting.

What are your future projects or goals?

So in connection with basketball is that I am co-organizer of a tournament which takes place in Marseille. Unfortunately Marseille is not recognized as a basketball city, the objective is to continue to do as many events as possible to put our young people, our players in the spotlight. And why not make connections to be able to place them in clubs. And continue to evolve, on the other hand, to impose a certain respect in our city in the eyes of all of France. Recognize that this city is a sports city and a basketball city.

Your ultimate top 5 in basketball

So, ultimate Top 5, in point guard I think I would put… Stephen Curry. In 2 I would put Michael Jordan. On the wing, he’s my favorite, I would put Carmelo Anthony. In 4, I will surely put Lebron and in 5 I would put Shaquille O’Neal, yeah in 5 Shaquille O’Neal.

Which rule would you change in basketball?

It’s fun, it’s pretty funny. In fact, since I started basketball late, I was doing a lot of travels. I was doing a lot of travels and it was preventing me from playing. After 1, 2 travels, you quickly get out of your game so really try to do something to be able to… t’s quite complicated, but to be able to do without traveling to play normally.

Which sports personality would you like to have dinner with?

He is no longer of this world but honestly the greatest value for me is Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali was a great man, he defended his values and he is timeless. As much as he was a star then, he’s still a star today. So without hesitation, Muhammad Ali.

which athlete or coach impresses you the most today?

Athlete who has impacted me the most is really Kobe Bryant for the state of mind, he is really a cut above. And on the coaching side. Really very very good it’s Greg Popovich. I think he’s an excellent coach. Very very great coach.

A final word?

So don’t hesitate to come to Marseille in the summer. Subscribe to the On My Court page. It’s an urban event that takes place in Marseille that brings together basketball, dance, music and many other things. Do not hesitate to subscribe and come see us in the south. See you soon!

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