Our series “Meeting Top International Prospects” is back again after a summer loaded with FIBA youth tournaments. We decided to present you one of the best performers from those events – the French 6-foot-6 athletic shooting guard Ilane Fibleuil who will be among the popular names in the international 2023 recruiting class.
Fibleuil had a breakout performance at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2022 in Spain this summer, cementing himself as a cornerstone for the French success in Malaga, on a loaded roster with high-level type of talents. He led his team in points and rebounds – 12,6 ppg and 5.9 rpg, which was pretty impressive given that he wasn’t supposed to get a significant playing role. Thanks to his great showing there he got the attention of many high-major programs.
Ilane has a +3 wingspan and solid leaping abilities. Lean and quick, he will excel in the open court, finishing with ferocious dunks. He could be a threat from long range, either off the catch or off the dribble. He’s capable of creating his own shot, showcasing solid footwork and various repertoire. While he’s more of a secondary ball handler, he will be able to space the floor well, waiting for the right kick out or time to cut and finish above the rim.
The French recruit shared with us his thoughts on a variety of subjects. Check out the interview below:
Hello Ilane! Hope you and your family are doing well. Can you tell us more about how did you start playing basketball? How did INSEP find you?
Hi what’s up! So, I started playing basketball when I was 12 years old, which is pretty late for a guard, but I learned very fast. When I first came to ES Massy Basket, where I played from 12 to 15 years old, I was not that good but my goal was to become the best player of the team. INSEP found me when I played a friendly game against Paris U15 regional center. Jean-Aimé Toupane saw me and offered me the chance to enter INSEP the following season.
Recently you’ve been one of the sensations at the 2022 U17 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. There you had a breakout performance, leading your team in points and rebounds – 12.6 ppg and 5.9 rpg. What was your mentality coming into the event and what was the reason for you to have such a successful showing?
I didn’t have a ton of expectations since I had been coming off the bench during the preparation. I just focused on coming in each game and having a positive impact on both ends of the floor. As the competition progressed, I got more confident and was able to carry a bigger load.
What does it mean to a young French prospect to learn the Xs and Os of the game, playing for CFBB Paris and training at INSEP, where Tony Parker and Boris Diaw played at and honed their skills?
It means that you are among the top French players in your generation and that you are lucky to work within a great structure. It’s a big responsibility for all of us to match what past generations accomplished.
Thanks to your breakout performance at the 2022 U17 FIBA Basketball World Cup your recruiting process is expected to see plenty of offers from D1 schools. What do you think you can bring up to the table for a high-major program and what style of basketball you think fits you most?
I’m mostly looking at how they are looking to develop me over the next 2 to 3 years, both for pro and college options. I want to make it to the League and it’s a crucial decision I will have to make.
What are you specifically looking for when recruited by colleges? Do you have any school preferences? Share with us your impressions of the recruiting process so far.
I don’t have any specific preferences. It’s solely a basketball decision and I hope to find a spot that fits my playing style but will also take me outside of my comfort zone.
What are your expectations and goals for the upcoming season? Which aspect/s of your game will you be looking to improve the most?
I want to become a leader and be a consistent player on the court. I will have a lot of responsibilities as one of the older players on the team and will have to answer the call. I also want to show that l can make my teammates better because I didn’t really show it during the tournament.
What are your long-term goals, where do you envision yourself playing in 5 years?
My goal is to make it to the NBA in the next few years. I have high expectations for myself, that’s why I work hard every day, so I see myself in the NBA in 5 years maybe with a rookie of the year award, who knows?
Are there any players in Europe and in the NBA you like studying/watching and why?
My favorite player is Ja Morant, I really like his athleticism and his flashy style and how he is a walking highlight reel, but he also has a really high basketball IQ. I try to study his playmaking because it’s a part of my game that I want to improve. In Europe I think the players that I watch the most are Elie Okobo and Mike James just for the simple fact that you can give them the ball and tell them to go get a bucket and they would do so.
What is your basketball schedule in a normal day?
I usually have individual workout at 09:45 when my teammates are at school, so I am in the gym around 9 am. Then we have team practice from 11am to 1pm (sometimes we also hit the weight room but it depends on the day) then I go eat something and I am back to practice from 4:30pm 6pm.
What do you prefer doing in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?
I love watching basketball, studying tapes. Otherwise, I like playing video games and hanging out with my teammates.