Impossible to miss it! With his imposing hair, Nadir Hifi does not go unnoticed. Whether on the basketball courts or in the lounges of the Accor Arena where Paris Basketball organized, this Wednesday morning, a press conference to announce the arrival, for 3 seasons, of the young and explosive back (20 years old). A nice catch for the capital club. "He is a spectacular player who will delight our public, relished Amara Sy, sporting director of Paris Basketball. He splashed the championship with his talent this season (with Le Portel) and still has a lot of room for improvement. »
The capital club has also announced that its first match at the Adidas Arena at the Porte de la Chapelle will be scheduled for February 11, 2024. A first experience before an inauguration with great fanfare and a definitive installation in October 2024. Three matches at the Accor Arena are also on the calendar next season (in October, December and January).
Tell us what attracted you to the Paris project?
NADIR HIFI. I had offers from many clubs, I could have gone abroad, to Spain, Germany... But I didn't want to take the plunge right away. I didn't want to take that risk. Especially there was a real feeling with Paris. It's a young, ambitious club that wants to continue growing, like me, I'm happy to be part of this adventure. It's a great opportunity for me to stay in France but to play in an ambitious club that will compete in the Eurocup (the clubs participating in the C2 have not yet been communicated). It's the best transition before playing the Euroleague with the club the following year...
Nadir is Parisian 🖤❤️💙
We could not let him put us 39 points like that 😈
Sensation of our championship with 17 points average this season, Nadir Hifi will wear the Parisian colors for the next three seasons 🙌 pic.twitter.com/esoQWRVckH
— Paris Basketball (@ParisBasketball) June 7, 2023
How long have you been in contact with the club?
Paris approached me several months ago, in December or January, before people talked about my performances. They made me understand that they would like to have me with them. It's flattering. Amara (Sy) has even been following me for a long time. We know each other a little. Two years ago I participated in his tournament (the Amara League in Cergy) that we won together... He must have told David Kahn (president of Paris Basketball) about me.
David Kahn introduced you by explaining that you fit the DNA of the club...
I'm a very aggressive player, who plays a lot on instinct. I'm better known for my offensive performances but I think I'm a two-way player, a player who can defend and attack very well. It corresponds to the game that Paris wants to offer with fast and spectacular play, races. And outside of basketball, I like the energy of the city, the lifestyle. I already have the right haircut (he smiles). Coming here was the best possible choice for me. It fits perfectly!
You are the first recruit of the club, do you have guarantees on summer recruitment?
I don't have any information but I don't have too many doubts about the fact that the club wants to build a great team for next season and continues its progression in the hierarchy. I'm sure we'll be very competitive. The goal will be to win the championship title.
You just came back from the United States where you participated in workouts (private training) in franchises before the NBA Draft...
Yes, I don't even know what day it is anymore (he laughs). Monday I was doing one more in New York, I came back to France yesterday noon (Tuesday). I stayed there for 17 days and participated in 6 workouts.
He already lives like a Parisian 😅 pic.twitter.com/K9pJd7Lyty
— Paris Basketball (@ParisBasketball) June 7, 2023
What do you remember from this experience?
There's a lot of stress, because I was all alone and because I don't speak English very well. I had to fend for myself, take planes, cross the United States every other day. On the field, despite fatigue or small injuries, you always have to give the best of yourself. It was intense. But I learned a lot about myself. It was a great experience. It was my first time in the United States, I'll remember it (he smiles).
What is the state of mind two weeks before the draft?
There are chances that I will be caught even if we do not yet know at what position. There are positive things and some negative things, fingers crossed and we'll see. After either the team wants to keep me and we will have to pay the buyout (transfer) in Paris or I will be here.
🔙👑 When @NadirHifi had the biggest performance of the season against the @ParisBasketball ... His future club!
39 PTS - 8 RBDS - 4 PDS - 44 EVALUATION 🤯 #BetclicELITE pic.twitter.com/Mb9fxJXQ5Q
— LNB (@LNBofficiel) June 7, 2023
Your summer promises to be busy...
I leave tomorrow morning (Thursday) for a basketball camp in Treviso and then I continue with the France team in Los Angeles (with a second selection, called "France Select Team" who will face Armenia on June 16 and 17). This is my first selection with the France. I was afraid it would never happen... (he had played for Algeria and had to get a letter of exit from the Algerian Federation to play with the France). I was very lucky. The Algerian Federation understood my situation and knew that I would have more opportunities with the France team. They let me go. I thank them and I will not forget.
This is a first step with the France A...
Yes I do not know if it will be this summer or later but I will answer present if I am called. I am proud to represent France.
You were still a player in Nationale 3, the 5th division, in 2020. How do you view your career?
I don't have the words, I don't know if I really realize... It proves that everything can go fast but I am aware that it can go fast in both directions. We must keep our feet on the ground and continue to work so that this great adventure does not stop. I know I've come a long way back with my family. When I was in Lille (Pro B) my parents did not have the means to finance my 2nd year at the training center, which forced me to return to N3 at home. It made me stronger.