Student and an elite athlete: Antoine MiM and basketball
Published on 03/7/2023
Published on 03/7/2023
2.04 meters tall, Antoine does not go unnoticed on the Rouen Campus! A student in the Master in Management programme, a high-level basketball player, and involved in student societies: how does he manage to reconcile everything? Interview.
I started playing basketball at the age of 10 because I was quite tall. Having tried a number of different sports, my dad suggested basketball because he had played when he was young and that’s how things started. Up to the age of 17, I played with a small club in Le Havre, just for fun. At High School, I joined another club that was looking for somebody “a tall player”. This was still at amateur level, but it’s when I started to want to get better.
Then, during the summer before my final year at high school, I was contacted by a training centre in Le Havre where I took a number of tests and passed, so I joined. My high school didn’t want to modify my timetable, so my final year was really hectic. With two training sessions a day, I understood what playing elite sport meant. During the first months, I was really tired because I was following the European and a Latin options, so my school timetable was really full.
I didn’t have the same level as the other players who had joined the club three or four years earlier and the coach was really demanding. I really had to work on my shooting technique and do a lot of weight training to progress. It was a difficult year, but I learned a lot about myself. My will to succeed and not give up helped me to continue and develop a strong mental attitude.
At the end of the final year of high school, I was faced with a real dilemma: should I go to a preparatory school or continue playing at an elite level? I asked myself a lot of questions. But as sport can be very uncertain and sports careers are generally quite short, I finally chose to go to a preparatory school and drop basketball.
But once again during the summer, I was contacted by a National League 3 club in Le Havre that was interested in signing me. I hesitated because I didn’t know how I could combine studies and sport, but the coaches were reassuring and said they understood that if I joined them, my studies would be the priority.
During the two years at preparatory school, I was no longer an elite player, but I was playing at a high level with a good club, training twice a week and with a game every Saturday. I have no regrets about this choice because basketball provided an escape from my studies and helped me remain open by mixing with the other players at the club.
After being accepted at NEOMA, the same questions cropped up again: do I want to return to playing at an elite level and am I ready to face the constraints that this imposes? It didn’t take long to decide because I really wanted to continue playing! My ex-coach put me in touch with Rouen Métropole Basket, a National League 3 club, who I joined in September 2022 after a number of trials.
My enrolment at NEOMA had already been completed when I decided to carry on playing basketball, so it was too late to request a reorganisation of my timetable. But everything is going well! Sometimes when I finish school at 8pm, I can’t go training, but I do go every other night. And my training facilities are only 10 minutes away from the campus by bus, so I can get there very easily.
All the years when I’ve had to combine classes and training have taught me that you have to be rigorous and dedicated, and that’s the secret to success. In the second year of preparatory school I really worked a lot because I wanted to go to a good school. It was a real challenge for me and I also learned to stay ahead and work fast to have enough time to sleep and avoid being physically tired.
I really like going back and forth between the two worlds. I like having friends at school and at the club and being around people from different backgrounds, it keeps me well-balanced.
Yes, I love meeting people, going out and having fun. I’m part of the Communication Department of the Top Eight student society and also a member of TIRouen’pointe, the petanque club. And at the moment, I’m campaigning to be part of the next Student Committee. I am fully involved in the life of the school and the campus, which is very important to me.
To balance everything, I’ve learned to prioritise, set a timetable for each task and make sure I stick to it. Sport, study, student clubs and friends are all important to me, and once again, discipline and being well-organised help me to enjoy everything to the full. Everything is just great at the moment!
Sport has given me a lot and really helped me get to know myself better. Thanks to sport, I have learnt to develop a sense of discipline and seriousness, team spirit, the idea of reaching an objective, respect for others, perseverance, punctuality, dedication…
All the values that are conveyed through sport have become an integral part of me and I apply them to all areas of my life. This has a very positive impact on my studies and on my relationships with others.
Like every year, the same question will appear and like every year, it will be a real dilemma… The one thing that is sure is that I can’t stay with my current club because I’ll be 21 and so this is my final year as an under-21.
If I get the chance to sign for a professional club, I’ll have to give it some serious thought… but my studies remain my priority because they are a guarantee of security for the future.