European Prospects

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Installation of “Home Grown Player” status in France

March 16th, 2010 · 2 Comments

The French League LNB has decided yesterday to introduce the “Home Grown Player” status from the 2010-2011 season. This will be a major change as this will be first country to adopt this new status as it has been defined previously in discussion between the UEFA and the European Union.

The French League defines the “Joueur Formé Localement” or Home Grown Player in English as following:

A HGP (Home-Grown Player) is a player who had a French Basketball License during 4 years while being aged between 12 and 21 years.

The case of players that have been registered in France during the current season will be discussed later on to give them the HGP status.

From the season 2010-2011 on, all ProA teams need to have at least 5 HGPs in a 10 player match sheet. With 11 players on the sheet, there must be at least 6 HGPs and with 12 players, the minimum is 7 HGPs. This means that the number of non-HGPs is limited to 5 in any case. In the ProB, the maximum of non-HGPs is 3.

This will be a major change as teams are now able to recruit young players from outside of France or not having a French passport and they can get a status as HGP after having played 4 years of basketball before the age of 21. Through this change, the sometimes “strange” passports will disappear. I discussed the impact of HGPs already a year ago in an article on BallinEurope. The main points I mentioned there were the following.

For example, a player born in Cameroon with Cameroon citizenship but relocating to France at age 15 would be considered a French HGP after having played three (four) years of youth basketball in France.

This HGP rule would give domestic leagues a way to promote players raised in their country without going against EU law. The question of a good minimum level of HGP per team remains, however, and will probably be discussed by every league. However, establishing regulations in the Euroleague will not hide the fact that you could create two totally different teams for the two competitions, a situation that is currently not really a problem.

One of the main problems is still not solved though. The differences of rules and settings of the leagues in Europe will now see an additional status arriving. Is a French-HGP considered as a Bosman player in Spain for example? Probably yes, if the French-HGP has a EU passport, but not if he holds a Cameroon citizenship for example. A unified regulation throughout Europe would of course be the best.

For scouting purposes, this change will also have a major impact as French teams will probably increase Global/European Youth Basketball scouting as the teams can now recruit young “foreigners” and develop them in order that they get the French-HGP status. As we heard, ASVEL in line with the planned Tony Parker Academy is already heavily developing this possibility for the future.

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