By Reinaldo Bessa
Daryl Doualla (Marne-la-Vallée, France, 2004) grew up as a Tony Parker fan, so choosing ASVEL was an easy call for him. Since then, the explosive shooting guard has made big strides to establish himself as one of the most promising players in a loaded talent-wise 2004 generation. Doualla, who currently sits in the third position in the 2004 Eurohopes ranking, belongs to a bright generation in France alongside Eurohopes' 2004 No. 1 prospect Victor Wembanyama, ASVEL guard Kymany Houinsou and CFBB Melvin Ajinça among many others.
France had a very solid team for the FIBA U16 European Tournament which was eventually cancelled. Which expectations did you have for the tournament?
Representing your country in an international competition is a huge privilege, and the French team would have gone there with the greatest ambitions. As for the pandemic, I thank the good Lord for being in good health and I simply join my prayer to that of all, in the hope that the world scientific community will come to terms with it as soon as possible, to allow everyone to return to the normal course of his life.
How did you prepare yourself during this long summer?
The quarantine was a rather delicate period. However, my family, like all the others, has adapted by applying the correct protective measures. Personally, I followed the program put in place by the coaches and physical trainers of the Tony Parker Adéquat Academy to come back as ready as possible. It was not easy, but we did the best we could.
How is working in a growing powerhouse like ASVEL?
Having the privilege of being trained in the best French club is very rewarding and this results from the champion mentality instilled in the academy through the prestigious career of Tony Parker. We do have exceptional infrastructure, and we work very hard to improve on a daily basis. The advantage, in my humble opinion, lies in this double vision compared to our training, which is both French and American inspired.
You have been training with the pro team in a regular basis. How is it helping to your development?
Training with the pros is always a joy and a huge honor because it is a group mainly made up of international players, with a lot of experience. I am therefore learning a lot about all aspects of the game and I have no doubt that it will serve me more and more on the floor compared to my IQ which is developing more, given the very high requirements at this level of competition.
20 points, 4 rebounds, 2.3 steals per game in the last ANGT Valencia against players two years older than you. Did you expect it?
I went to this tournament with the full intention of doing everything to help the team to finish victorious. We did not succeed, but it is only partly postponed. I really enjoyed participating in this tournament, and although I was satisfied with my individual performance, I am working with a lot of determination to improve myself because I am convinced that I can do better.
Which long-term goals do you have and which path do you plan to follow?
Succeed in waiting for the NBA with real credibility. I intend to achieve this by continuing to train very hard, to give myself the best possible opportunities to achieve my dream.