Before the South-Pacific Mini-Games basketball tournament in Palau, we catch up with New Caledonia national team member Gerard Girier-Dufournier. We talked with him about the team's goal for this tournament. Hopefully, we'd continue this interview when he will be back from Palau. We wish him and his team the best of luck during this tournament.
How do you describe yourself as a basketball players?
Always fighting, taking up the challenges. I hate losing and I'm still playing hard until the final buzzer rang.
Where are you playing right now?
I'm playing for JS Vallée-du-Tir, we are the best team of the country. Right now we are preparing for the Pacific Champions Cup which will take place in Tahiti this year against AS Aorai.
When did you start playing for the national team?
I started in 1996 with the U18 team, then I left to play in Canada but I came back injuried. I had to wait until 2004 to be called in the senior National Team.
What do you expect in Palau? What do you know about your opponents?
This will be a very interesting tournament. New Caledonia will be the team to beat after we won the Gold at the South Pacific Games in Suva in 2003. The road won't be easy but the team and myself are ready for the challenge. We have 50% of our players who are under 20-year old. This will be a great moment for them, we have a lot of potential with this youngsters and New Caledonia will remain competitive in the future.
Concerning our opponents I really don't know anything but you know I think we should respect any team. Nobody will give away the win and we'll fight to get ours. There are always surprises in tournaments like this one and I ensure you that we will play each game with the same level of intensity and desire.