European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Kevin Seraphin: Now listen to this Wizards

June 25th, 2010 · 1 Comment

With the number of European prospects drafted this year, I decided to have a review on every specific player. The first name that has been announced was Kevin Seraphin from France. It looked like David Stern has specifically practiced his French before the draft as he started his announcement with a very proud “Now listen to this” that he found so funny that he continued his speech with a little smirk on his face. So let’s check out who Seraphin really is, you better listen to this Wizards fans.

Even if Seraphin was in reality selected by the Chicago Bulls, there are no doubts that the French Center will be traded to the Washington Wizards at the beginning of the NBA Trading period. A destination that was the first choice of Seraphin’s entourage as his agents confirmed to the press. Seraphin spoke about Washington while still wearing his Chicago Bulls head in the post-Draft press conference and he is already excited to play with John Wall.

I have a good feeling with the team in Washington. They told me they really count on me, and I’m going to work. I know that I have to work hard now. And to get the opportunity to play with John Wall is going to help me, too, because John Wall is a tremendous player.

When it comes to his playing style, Seraphin also gave the journalists and fans some indications what they can expect from him.

The career of Seraphin started back in 2007 when he joined for the first time the professional roster of Cholet Basket, a team that is known for producing a lot of young talent and its great relations with the different French oversea territories. A multitude of French players have their background in Guyana or Guadeloupe and struggle in the beginning when they come over the Europe. With other players having the same background in his team, Seraphin integrated quickly the real rotation of the professional team and was soon looked at as the next big thing coming out of Cholet. Nearly every year, the team produces NBA talent (2009: Rodrigue Beaubois, Nando de Colo, 2010: Kevin Seraphin) and the pipeline of future talents is full with prospects like Christophe Leonard or Rudy Gobert.

Seraphin developed step-by-step and earned more and more minutes during the season 2008/2009. With Comsport starting to take care of his career, the trip was predictable and the next stage was the participation to the Nike Hoop Summit in April 2009. The French guy used this event to put his name on the table of a multitude of NBA Franchises with an interesting performance.

Being only used during limited minutes in Cholet, the event in Portland was a bit of a coming out party on the highest level for the French Center. Displaying great athleticism and very large hands, Kevin Seraphin showed a big presence on the rebound on both ends of the court. You could see his arm raise several times out of the paint to get the ball far above the rim. He also had several blocked shots coming on help situations or as a second row goalkeeper.

Offensively though, Seraphin has still a lot of progress before as he is not very accurate when it comes to jump shots. Close to the rim, he finishes with dunks or layups but missed a couple of close shots around the basket. He has already a big body and knows how to use in order to gain a favorable position over the defenders. He should see a lot more minutes from next season on in the French championship and it will be interesting to see at what level he will be after a full season of professional basketball.

With the growth of Seraphin, his team Cholet Basket also grew in terms of competition it faced. While they played in the 3rd class EuroChallenge during the 2008/2009 season, the team from Western France qualified for the 2nd class Eurocup in 2009/2010. In the same line, Seraphin improved his game and averaged good 6.5ppg, 6.5rpg and 1.2bpg in this competition. In December 2009, I scouted him during a Eurocup game against Crvena Zvezda Belgrade. His game looked already improved despite a slow start into the season with a multitude of DNP-Coach Decision games.

Down low, once he has got the ball, he can easily dominate against smaller or less physical players than himself. The jump hook looks currently to be his main offensive weapon as he can use it either by turning to the baseline or by turning to the middle. Close to the basket, he looks to be ambidextrous even if he mainly uses his right hand for the hook. However, you could see him for example go for a nice post move where he used his left hand to turn around his defender and score on an underhand finger-roll. He also shows surprising mobility and speed in the post as he can also go baseline for underhand reverse layups.

Next to his low post game, he started to show some face-up game as well and how to use his interesting speed and explosiveness.

From the top, he can attack the basket with one to two dribbles, finish after a spin move or on a short jump shot. Seraphin is quite explosive off his two feet and dunks the ball with ferocity. He can run the break as a trailer but needs to be more effective on the finish of those situations as he got for example rejected on a layup attempt where he may have gone for a dunk. He showed the right reaction after that play as he has learned how to finish and concluded the next play with a massive one-handed thunder dunk after one dribbling.

The NBA Draft seemed to come closer and with the announcement of his name as an early-entry candidate was not a big surprise. With the successful season of his team Cholet and a long run in the French playoffs, you could imagine already that Seraphin was not able to workout for a lot of teams or participate to the Adidas Eurocamp in Treviso. Additionally, a slight knee injury even took him out of the court for the French finals and reduced his visits to NBA Franchises only to Interviews and psychological tests. What looked on one hand as a handicap for him as he could not show his skills to interested NBA teams, those franchises that really wanted him and scouted him back in Europe knew that they have an advantage. With the announcement of David Stern as 17th pick and the trade of the Bulls sending him to the Wizards, the dream of the Cayenne native has come true.

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Truth About It » Your 2010 Link Summit // Jul 2, 2010 at 6:38 am

    […] run-down on Kevin Seraphin. [] Funny story about Seraphin. I actually met him outside of the hotel, while waiting for a cab a few […]

You must log in to post a comment.