Pascal Donnadieu leaves Nanterre after 37 years: “A fairy tale”

2024-05-21T09:30:15+00:00 2024-05-21T09:30:15+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

21/May/24 09:30

A 37th season at Nanterre 92 for Pascal Donnadieu concludes a famous run as head coach of the French club

By Johnny Askounis/

Wrapping up his 37th and final season as the head coach of Nanterre 92, Pascal Donnadieu is heading to the Olympic Games as an assistant coach for home country France to finish his coaching career.

A few days before turning 60, he went into France’s Betclic Elite Playoffs with Nanterre and fell shy of clinching a berth in the Semifinals against JL Bourg. Losing deciding Game 3 of a best-of-three series marked the conclusion of his long run as the play-caller of the club on Monday.

“There is the pride of having lived a fairy tale all these years, of having started from the very bottom and going to play in the EuroLeague, of establishing the team as champion of France in 2013 and Coupe de France winner in 2014 and 2017, and two European cups in 2015 and 2017,” he provided a recap of his historic run talking to L’Equipe after the game in Ekinox.

“Longevity is important. It is not a given. And we did it respecting the values and necessary steps for these accomplishments,” he added in an emotional interview.

Olympic Games

Calling it a day the club level, Donnadieu will extend a lengthy joint effort with the head coach of France, Vincent Collet, in this summer’s Olympic Games. Les Bleus are set to face Germany, Japan, and the winner of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament of Latvia in the preliminary round.

“I am going to enjoy this competition and have fun, despite the pressure, and help Vincent ensure that we achieve a results worthy of this beautiful story,” he previewed his last coaching assignment, “Finishing with the Olympic in France, we could not hope for much more. Apart from winning gold, of course.”

Besides leading Nanterre to the top-tier division of France and from there to historic success, his career expanded to the international level as the head coach of a reserve national team in 2014. In 2016, he become an assistant coach under Collet in the senior national team.

In addition, he introduced Victor Wembanyama to a professional club career in 2019. Wemby stayed with Nanterre until 2021, before one-year spells with LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne and Metropolitans 92 leading to the top of the 2023 NBA draft and San Antonio Spurs.


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