For the last derby in history, the BCS will have to do without one of its major weapons this Friday night, Kentan Facey.
Of the good season of Souffel, he is not foreign, certainly not. From the top of his 27 years and 2m06, Kentan Facey is a major element of Stéphane Eberlin’s team. He only discovered basketball at the age of 15, in Jamaica. Before that, the long-sighted inside player practiced soccer, athletics and cricket. Disciplines that certainly bring a lot of positive elements to his game today: “I started playing when I was 15 years old. I went to a skills camp in Jamaica, where coaches from the United States come to teach kids the game. One coach liked me and helped me move to the United States when I was 17, his name is Stephen Johnston. I moved to America alone and my host family adopted me and took care of me. I started playing basketball a little late, but I spent a lot of time practicing and improving“.
The path that led Kentan to the suburbs of Strasbourg was not linear. Not always easy, but also beautifully victorious. In high school, he won a few titles, the most memorable for him being the New York State Championship, then the State Player of the Year. At that point, several doors, not the least of which were open to him, “After high school, I received college scholarship offers from all the major universities, and I decided to enroll at the University of Connecticut.”
An NCAA title in 2014
A first year where the majority of time, Kentan spends it on the bench. Despite this, events will follow: “My first year, I did not play much because we had a very good team with older guys, some of whom went to the NBA or Euroleague. I had to wait my turn. We managed to win the NCAA national championship. It was most definitely the best basketball experience I’ve ever had. I became a starter as a sophomore and had a good season. But the team didn’t live up to expectations like the year before“.
The third year was more complicated for him, especially personally: “I lost my father at the end of my second year of college, which affected me a lot because we were extremely close. I keep his memory alive every day by wearing his wedding ring, I make sure there is not a day that I don’t think about him and the good memories we had together“. His fourth, and last, year (8.5 points, 7.1 rebounds average) allows him to rebound in the best way, offering him the opportunity to join Europe and Greece more precisely. Unfortunately, financial problems and a change of coach pushed him to leave the championship for Qatar, before starting a new season in Cyprus: “I spent a good year in Cyprus, then I received an offer from Souffel“.
Two successful seasons at BCS
The right choice. If he didn’t say it, the Souffel fans must think so. His first season ended after 23 games in Pro B, with 10.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 13.8 average rating. It’s hard to top that, but he did score 11.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 15 points this year: “My first year in Souffel was solid. The room is very loud, with our fans, and I like that kind of atmosphere. Souffel is like a family, everyone on the team knows each other and tries to help each other, which is one of the reasons I decided to extend for a second year.“
With a team that has a solid base and already knows each other, the BCS started the season disrupted by the COVID. With the (some) turmoil behind them, the group started winning again and regained confidence, to the point of posting an almost balanced record to date (15 wins – 16 losses): “This year, the team has played well, we started the season a little slow but after the Christmas break, we came back ready to work and started winning games. We beat some of the best teams in the league, which proved to us that we can compete with the top teams“. Quimper, Fos, Nancy and Saint-Quentin have all fallen to the Sept-Arpents this season, among others.
While the last derby in history is coming this Friday, Kentan will unfortunately not be able to take part. The fault of a hard blow occurred this Tuesday night, against Saint-Chamond. But no doubt that his teammates will want to win, for him, but also the other injured. Because in Souffel, you miss one being, but fortunately, all is not depopulated.
Crédit photo : Myriam Vogel