Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

Rudy Gobert has confirmed his availability to compete for France at FIBA EuroBasket 2022 this summer in a major boost to their hopes of adding another title.

Rudy Gobert

Rudy  Gobert
Rudy  Gobert
MIN: 32.18
PTS: 15.26 (69.92%)
REB: 14.54
As: 1.04
ST: 0.64
BL: 2
TO: 1.76
GM: 72

The 29-year-old has won four medals with the senior men's national team - including silver at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics last summer - and brings an imposing presence as one of the elite rim protectors in the world of basketball.

Gobert is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA and confirmed his plans to help the pursuit of EuroBasket gold when speaking to French media outlet L'Equipe.

"It's been a few days that it's been clear in my head," he said via L'Equipe. "The process took some time. If I listened to myself, I would still be 200 percent to go, but in recent years I've had a few breaks because of knee pain.

"Once I had an MRI to ensure there was no problem, I was able to organize my summer. It was important that everything was clear in my head before I committed. The fact that Evan [Fournier] is there is a factor, I love going to war with him."

Fournier - also 29 - had already stated his intention to represent the national team at Europe's flagship event and the inclusion of Gobert gives Les Bleus another vital leader, especially as Nicolas Batum and Nando De Colo have decided to skip the event.

Gobert missed out on EuroBasket in 2017 with his only previous appearance at the tournament coming two years prior when France claimed a bronze medal on home soil by beating Serbia, in Lille.

"This is good news," added head coach Vincent Collet, via L'Equipe. "It brings back leadership. Rudy has become a major element of the team over the years. The fact that he is there with Evan guarantees continuity in the work we do in the long term with this team.

Rudy Gobert

Rudy  Gobert
Team: Utah Jazz
Position: C
Age: 29
Height: 216 cm
Weight: 111 kg
Birth place: France

"In addition to defense, we try to value the progress he has made on offense. We were aiming for the podium anyway, and that doesn't change the fact that we will have to reinvent ourselves in part, but his presence gives us even more options."

Gobert averaged 10.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 when France collected a bronze medal and this summer would mark his first major European tournament in seven years.

"We started building something in China, at the World Cup," Gobert added. "That and the Olympics are some of the best memories of my career. It was incredibly rewarding.

"It would have bothered me not to be able to continue this summer with this group. We are only at the beginning, and in the next few years, we want to make even more history, especially during this EuroBasket."

France is placed in Group B at EuroBasket and will take on Lithuania, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Hungary as well as group hosts, Germany, on the opening day of the tournament.

Credit FIBA

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Free throws this season

77%
18,1
Points made: 18,1
Accuracy: 76,9%
Place in standings: 4
Record max: 35
Record min: 6
Most made FTs: Rudy Gobert