Siena’s French Connection

Alex Franklin and Ryan Rossiter recently arrived in France to begin their preseason preparations with their respective teams. Both will play professionally this season in the French Ligue Nationale de Baketball (LNB). 4guysinblazers checked in with them today to see how things are going so far.

Alex will be playing for JA Vichy, located in central France. Alex describes Vichy as a beautiful city that has a lot to offer. Alex is coming off a very successful year playing in the Spanish B League for CB Tarragona where he averaged 14.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Former Saint Prosper Karangwa had previous played for Vichy and, according to Alex, “he really talked highly of the club and thought it would be a good career move for me.”

Soon after moving in it was time to begin practicing with his new teammates. “Right now our team is training hard, trying to get better and build chemistry throughout the preseason. The workouts have been going really well, they are very intense but they push us through them”. So far Alex seems to agree with Prosper’s view of the organization. “I am very grateful about being with this team, very organized club, great fans and from day one there was a sense of excitement in the building”. Playing his second season as a professional Alex is ready to face the challenges with his new team, in a new country. “Everything is going well so far, except for my French speaking skills! I need to put in a lot of hard work in that area”.

Ryan, Siena’s all time rebounding king, will begin his professional career in France playing for ASC Voltaire based in the northern city of Denain. Ryan told us, “The city is great and offers a lot, I was able to see some of it but not much we have been pretty busy with practice”. And practice is already in full swing which, according to Ryan, is much different than practice as a Siena Saint. “Practices are run pretty differently then anything I’ve been through, there’s a different way of going about things but I’m excited to learn and help out my team”.  Ryan has had a taste already of the game in France and seems optimistic about his new team. “Everything is going great so far, we had our first scrimmage last night, although we lost there’s a lot to be excited about. We played great in spurts and just have to keep getting used to one another. When we put it all together I think we will be very good”. Although the game has its differences his new team’s style will be reminiscent of his time at Siena. “The game is a little different than college but not much so the adjustment shouldn’t be too bad. My team looks to play at a high pace and really push the ball. I’m excited about that style offense”.

Ryan completed a very successful career at Siena this past March. During his tenure the Saints won three MAAC titles and earned two NCAA tournament victories with wins over Vanderbilt and Ohio State. His senior season saw him win MAAC Player of the Year honors and finish second in the nation in rebounding. Ryan concluded his career 10th all times in points (1,457) and first in rebounding (1,151).

Like Alex, Ryan will be working off the court as well to adjust to his new surroundings. “The guys on the team are great and very helpful both on and off the court. I’ve been able to survive trips to grocery stores and restaurants by smiling a lot and pointing, hopefully I can pick up some French soon”.


4guysinblazers wishes Alex and Ryan well and is looking forward to their upcoming season.

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