Gonzaga Bulldogs redshirt freshman guard Joel Ayayi will be playing for France during the U18 European Championships, providing a prime opportunity for fans to see what they have in the young player.
Ayayi arrived at Gonzaga as an incredibly raw talent, but his speed and ability to drive to the hoop showcased plenty of potential. During the 2016 FIBA U16 European Championship, he averaged 11.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game.
As happens with youngsters, Ayayi struggled with turnovers during the 2016 championship and didn’t shoot from long range particularly well, hitting just 30.8 percent of his three pointers.
Since arriving at Gonzaga, there hasn’t been a whole lot of news leaking out about Ayayi. With a backcourt now consisting of Josh Perkins, Geno Crandall, Zach Norvell, Greg Foster Jr., there is plenty of room for Ayayi to carve out meaningful minutes off the bench.
For fans, the FIBA European Championships give us a reason to track a player that has largely flown under the radar since arriving at GU, thanks to the redshirt year and his overall youth. Zag fans haven’t seen the development from last season, so hopefully the games for France will provide an opportunity.
Here is France’s schedule:
- July 28: France vs. Russia, 20:45 GMT+3/10:45 am PT
- July 29: France vs. Turkey, 16:15 GMT+3/6:15 am PT
- July 31: France vs. Germany, 20:45 GMT/10:45 am PT
All games can be streamed on FIBA’s YouTube channel.