Club profile: Paris Levallois

Jul 18, 2013 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
Club profile: Paris Levallois
Paris LevalloisParis Levallois flies the flag for Parisian basketball into the 2013-14 season as the French capital's first-ever Eurocup representative. The club enjoyed a fine 2012-13 campaign, in which it won the French Cup and reached the FIBA EuroChallenge quarterfinals. Now Paris looks to take another step forward in the Eurocup. Paris Levallois was formed in 2007 when Racing Paris and Levallois Sporting Club Basket merged. The former can trace its roots back to 1882, though 40 years passed before it opened its basketball section. Racing Paris was the dominant force in French basketball in the early 1950s, when it won three French league crowns in four seasons with Robert Monclar among its biggest stars. After several decades of proving to be too strong for France’s second division, but not strong enough to challenge in the top league, Paris found its footing in the late 1980s, became a regular in European competition and in 1992 the club reached the Korac Cup quarterfinals. The next high came in 1997 when the likes of Richard Dacoury, J.R. Reid, Stephane Risacher and Laurent Sciarra brought the league crown back to Paris. The next season, Nikola Loncar and Eric Struelens led the charge in the club's Euroleague debut. But just a decade later and after a trio of ownership changes, Paris's run in the French top division came to an end with a 14th-place finish. Levallois opened its doors in 1941 and played mostly lower-level competitions until 1969, when it secured a spot in the second division. It needed just two seasons to reach the top level, but did not last. Its next try came in 1992, when the club won the second-division crown. Its best season was in 1996, when Levallois placed sixth and made its European debut in the Koran Cup the following year. However a budgetary crisis hit after that campaign and Levallois dropped to the fourth division by 2001. The two clubs' merger took a few seasons to produce results, but in 2009, Paris Levallois was promoted to become a mainstay in the French first division. European competition soon followed with the high point coming last season as Sean May and Andrew Albicy pushed the club to the EuroChallenge quarterfinals. May's double-double then led Paris over JSF Nanterre 77-74 in the French Cup final to finish the season with the club's first title in 40 years. Now Paris Levallois looks to add to its resume with a strong Eurocup debut.