A ball placed left hand in the basket, three shots outside the racket. In five minutes, Nwal-Endéné Miyem disgusted the Bosnian defense, severely beaten by the France team (80-67), Wednesday, June 23 at Rhenus Sport, in Strasbourg, in the quarter-finals of Euro basketball 2021.
At 33, the captain of the France team has started her seventh European campaign perfectly: top scorer against Croatia (105-63, 18 points) at the opening of the tournament, on June 17, the interior tricolor was a again shown decisive three days later against Russia (85-59), in the third and last group game: the Rémoise unleashed a precious two-point shot while the French were jostled when starting the last quarter -time.
His “Long and medium distance address” and his skills “Excellent passer”, to use the words of the coach of the Blue, Valérie Garnier, will still be essential to the French during the semi-final against Belarus, Saturday June 26 (6 p.m.), in Valencia (Spain). This opponent, Nwal-Endéné Miyem (known as “Endy”) had dominated at the same stage of the competition at Euro 2009, before going to win, at the age of 21, for his first participation in the continental competition, his first – and unique – European crown.
A taste of unfinished business
While the final whistle had just sounded Wednesday, the leader of the Blue gave up her unchanging smile to put on her costume of ” captain killjoy ”:“ I told them: “I’m happy, that’s good, but we know that we want to go even further and that we want two more victories” “, she declared after the success against Bosnia.
It is because the survivor of the “Braqueuses” – nickname given to the sacred France team, to everyone’s surprise, at Euro 2009 – keeps the following five editions a taste of unfinished business: she successively won a medal of bronze, then four silver medals. “As long as I will not have had the gold medal again at the Euro, I will not stop”, she slips.
Coming from a family where “Basketball is a religion” – uncles and a father player then coach, a brother who evolves in the professionals and another in National 3 -, the young Endy Miyem in particular cultivated his culture of winning by observing for hours during the prowess of the American Michael Jordan on VHS tapes.
His mind of “Warrior”, whom she claims to inherit from her Cameroonian origins, will convince Pierre Vincent to recruit her to Tango Bourges Basket when she is barely of age. “I was not afraid to take her in the workforce and immediately expose her to the highest level, because she had the means”, explains the one who was also coach of the Blue (2008-2013).
Under her aegis, the interior gleaned three titles of champion of France and won her first selection for the national team on July 10, 2008, during a qualifying tournament for Euro 2009. The young Habs stacked the baskets and finished two times best scorer of the Blue, first act of a long – and regular – stay in the France team: Endy Miyem has been in all the campaigns since 2009.
“Taming this new role”
In Bourges, the interior said to have felt ” like at home “. “Boute-en-train”, to use the words of the former president of Tango, Pierre Fosset, the international shines on and outside the parquet floors. “Endy was our singer, our actress, remembers her former teammate in club and in blue Isabelle Yacoubou, consultant for Canal + during the competition. At the time, she was doing imitations and one-woman-shows. “
On the field, and in her role as captain of the Blue, however, she does not display the same personality at all. La Rémoise, who succeeded Céline Dumerc in this role after Euro 2017, does not have the assurance of her predecessor to harangue her teammates. She is not one of those born captains, her “Leadership is exemplary”, relief Pierre Vincent.
“I will always be vocally more discreet than Celine. For her, being a captain was natural. Me, I had to learn to tame this new role ”, completes the person concerned, who, on the floor, pushes her partners to transcend themselves for the blue tunic: “The France team is never a given, you have to push your limits each season, each training session, and prove that you deserve your place”, she hammers.
Her place, the thirty-something is not ready to give up. Before finding his adopted home in Berruyer at the resumption of the club season, the interior will put on, on Saturday, the warming blue for the 222e times of his career. “I like playing these high-stakes games, I like having this pressure, I like to sweat, but most of all, I like what I do”, insists Endy Miyem.
Nwal-Endéné Miyem’s achievements
Nwal-Endéné Miyem won the French championship six times between 2006 and 2015 with Tango Bourges Basket.
After a whirlwind stint in the Russian championship, the Frenchwoman won the Italian championship in 2018 with the Famila Basket Schio and two Italian Cups (2017 and 2018).
The interior tricolor won the Euro in 2009. She won four times the silver medal (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019) and once the bronze medal (2011).
The captain of the Bleues participated in two Olympics. Silver medalist in London in 2012, she took the 4e place at the Rio Games in 2016.