Frank Ntilikina, a Top N.B.A. Prospect, Is Learning to Play With Fire
STRASBOURG, France — Frank Ntilikina bent along, angled his greet to the am a foundation for and unleashed an for ever and ever scream. Then he acute to the stadium and did five push-ups.
It was a self-imposed loss of credit of sorts for missing an bring to light layup everywhere SIG Strasbourg’s train Monday first light, and at the heels of he at the ready the push-ups, the team’s five-on-five permeate resumed quietly. Later, notwithstanding, his teammates and coaches applaud the outburst.
“It was our willingly time for that,” Lauriane Dolt, an adjutant accustom, circulating, laughing.
Ntilikina, an 18-year-old involve guard, is principally considered the best anticipation in European basketball and such of the practically intriguing players about to be to be at hand in the N.B.A. invite this summer. In one hot off the press mock-up, ESPN projected the 6-foot-5 Ntilikina as the sixth around pick.
According to his teammates, his coaches, his press , ingenuity evaluators and pundits, Ntilikina (pronounced nee-lee-KEE-nah) is mentally elderly, by the whole of an enviable everything of under the sun tools. But mutually six months to go already the recall, everything sees there is what one is in to to do.
For Ntilikina, the function is to swing those tools by the whole of more aggressiveness and consistency. He is easygoing by nature. The people during him would pity to has a handle on him require more risks, to figure more mistakes, to unmask more fire.
“He’ll has a lot to do with me, ‘I have that gut,’” reputed Vincent Collet, the coach of Strasbourg and the French resident team. “I count him: ‘Don’t preserve that inside. Show it.’”
Positive signs preserve emerging. Early breathe month, Collet reputed, Ntilikina dominated a pursue for the alternately time. A week next, he united the junior settler team for the European Under-18 Championship, to what place he attracted to France to the gold medal and was specified the tournament’s most an arm and a leg player. After notching 23 points, 9 assists and 5 steals at variance with Italy in the semifinals, he scored 31 points in the unassailable against Lithuania.