Heading toward basketball stardom – One step at a time

By Louis Ricard
Medill Reports

As a shooting guard for the French national team, Louis Lesmond has seen it all. Competing for European championships, flying all over the continent, the 17-year-old entered the National Institute of Sport, Expertise, and Performance in Paris last year, hoping to become a professional and follow his parents footsteps.

He never thought he’d be playing for Evanston Township High School a year later, starting his life all over again on another continent.

Lesmond flew from an international tournament in Serbia to Evanston, with his parents David and Vanessa and his younger sister Lola. David’s job as a wine seller for French wineries enabled the family to fly back to the United States 40 years after David left it as a Purdue student and basketball player.

From having to learn English to learning the plays on the whiteboard, Louis’ experience is unique, and he’s making the most out of it.

“It’s a different playing style. It’s faster, it’s a little more free flowing than it was at the INSEP, where everything was really strict and rigorous,” Louis said. They wanted us to behave like professionals and it’s a little different here but it wasn’t their job to adapt to me, it was my job to adjust to them.”

Here is his story.

Photo at top: Louis Lesmond shooting with his American team at Evanston Township High School