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Author of a rich career overseas as a professional basketball player, American point guard Louis Campbell (6’3) is a model to follow for the younger generation. For us, he talks about his path but also the great season that he currently lives in France with his team, the Paris-Levallois.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Louis Campbell. Born and raised in Rahway NJ.
How did you started playing basketball?
Product of my environment made me play basketball and football.
Unlike many American players, you often stayed several years in the same club and/or country. In 15 years of pro career, you have actually spent 12 years between Germany and France. Do this stability is a part of your mentality?
Staying with the same club or staying in a country for a while is just how my career panned out! I appreciate change, I believe it helps us grow. But I’ve been lucky to stay pretty much in one area for an extended amount of time. Stability for my family plays a tremendous role in that also.
You also played for three years in Japan for the Toyota Alvark. Comparing the Japanese competition with the American and European championships, can you say that it is an atypical or exotic destination?
Playing in JBL definitely was an exotic experience. Most guys use to go to Korea, Japan, or China for the financial lure and/or because of discipline reasons in European clubs. But my reason was because an opportunity was presented that Europe didn’t give to me at the time. It turned out to be very helpful in improving my skills as a PG.
During the four last seasons with Strasbourg, you won the french cup and the Disneyland Paris Leaders Cup, you also played Euroleague and reached the Eurocup final, but you lost four consecutive Pro A championship finals. Is this the greatest regret of your career?
The greatest regret of my career is probably not winning a championship in Europe. I really think about it often but the beautiful thing in that is i am still able to approach the game with the same professionalism and hunger like I’ve never been heartbroken by it.
Last summer, you left Strasbourg to join Paris, one of the most famous cities in the world. Is this a special place to live?
Paris is a phenomenal place to live. My family have had so many opportunities and doors open for them because we’ve be fortunate enough to brush shoulders with some resourceful people. I enjoy watching my family take full advantage of this opportunity created because of basketball. It’s amazing.
Paradoxically, Paris-Levallois is the team of the French Pro A championship with the least American and foreign players in the squad. You are 3 players coming from USA and Maleye N’Doye is the captain of the Senegal national team, while most of others Pro A teams have 4 americans and 2 others foreign players. What do you think about it?
Our team obviously is and wasn’t on anyone’s radar during pre-season. Our makeup of the team has been a great mix of veterans and opportunistic young guys. Chemistry is the key ingredient to a successful team and I believe we have good Chemistry. Part of the reason why I was open to coming hear is because I seen a real potential to add to what could be a surprise. Most of the guys I’ve played against but never known personally. But it’s been a unique season of learning and growing up with each other.
Your team also get 4 win during the last 5 games and is probably on the road to qualify for the playoffs, something that has not happened in Paris for a while. Are you proud to contribute to the renaissance at the top level of basketball in the French capital?
Thus far we have stayed in a playoff spot but there is a long way to go. We’re are only focusing on getting better individually as well as a unit. We will remain with the underdog mentality. It’s important to know that is what we are/who we are. Everything else will happen naturally.
This year, you will be 38 years old. As a veteran player, what is your role on your team?
My role on this team is to bring leadership on the court, in the locker room, be an example off the court, and share my knowledge to anyone willing to listen. Production is also important but not nearly as important as the stability and balance I have brought to the club.
Despite your age, you are still performing very well on the court. Do you know for how many seasons will you still play pro basketball?
Currently I’m in my first year of a 2 year deal here and I feel like I can play 5 more years but I highly doubt that will happen. I’m not 100% percent sure but I think Paris will be my last stop.
To conclude, do you have a word to say for your fans worldwide?
I’m pretty sure I do not have fans world wide. But for anyone who may read this, I’d say, live life to the fullest, love your family/friends, treat people kindly and try to never take opportunities for granted. Most of all be humble, but hungry.