We reveal juicy facts about this court sensation…
Marine Johannes is the current star of French basketball. While she shines with her team, the New York Liberty, in the WNBA, Marine is making waves both on and off the court. However, she has been excluded from the French national team for the upcoming EuroBasket scheduled from June 15th to 25th, 2023. On this occasion, This is Riviera unveils 5 things you didn’t know about this basketball star.
1 – She is connected to basketball player Nicolas Batum
Marine Johannes, originally from Lisieux in Calvados, shares the same origin as Nicolas Batum, the Los Angeles Clippers star in the NBA. Both of them started their basketball journey in the same club in Pont-l’Évêque before Marine Johannes continued her training in Mondeville. Standing at 1.78m, playing as a shooting guard, she experienced a meteoric rise when she joined the Tango Bourges Basket team in 2016. She impressed observers with her instinctive gameplay and shooting accuracy.
2 – Stephen Curry is her idol
Marine Johannes, with her free-flowing style of play, speed, and fluid shooting motion, openly draws inspiration from Golden State Warriors’ point guard, Stephen Curry. Being a fan of the NBA, she initially admired players like Tony Parker, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant, but she also gravitated towards smaller point guards like Stephon Marbury, Jason Williams, and Jason Kidd. However, it is Stephen Curry’s recent dominance and flamboyant style that now captivate Marine Johannes, and she never misses any of his performances as the « Baby-Faced Assassin. » In an interview, she declared, « He’s actually my favorite player in recent years. I watch all his highlights from every game, and there are a lot. Whenever I can watch a Golden State game, I do. »
3 – She struggles with the media due to her shyness
Marine Johannes is known for her shyness and reluctance to speak in front of cameras or microphones. She is not comfortable with the media and openly admits that it is not her favorite aspect of the job. During the 2018 World Cup, she even tried to avoid a press conference. However, although she may not be verbally expressive, Marine Johannes finds her perfect expression on the court, with the ball in her hands. And that’s what matters most.
4 – Her initials and favorite number
During the 2018-2019 season in Bourges, Marine exchanged her number 8 for number 23. Have you caught the subtlety yet? Indeed, with her initials MJ combined with the number 23, it becomes MJ23, just like the legendary Michael Jordan. Is it a mere coincidence? Not really. Marine explained, « I had the number 8 before the number 5. I had to change it because the jerseys were retired, and I liked the number 23. I hesitated to take it, thinking it might be a bit too much. But then I thought, ‘Well, it’s just a number…' »
5 – She was not selected for the French national team in EuroBasket
The decision to exclude Marine Johannes from the French national team for the upcoming EuroBasket, scheduled from June 15th to 25th, 2023, has sparked controversy. In an exchange with RMC Sport, she denounced this decision, stating, « In my opinion, I am being deprived of the French team. […] I am convinced that a solution could have been found, and it was possible to do both. » To understand this issue, it is important to know that in preparation for the EuroBasket, the French Federation required all selected players to be present from May 24th, a non-negotiable deadline. As the team gathered at Insep, the French players had their first preparatory match in Toulouse on May 28th. Thus, the message was clear: any involvement in the WNBA beyond May 24th would result in non-selection for EuroBasket. Unfortunately, this is the case for Johannes, who had previously planned to make a quick round trip to New York to sign her contract with the Liberty. Therefore, she will not be present as required on May 24th, but she is planning to return at the beginning of the following week, missing only one preparatory match. Consequently, the Federation decided to proceed without her for EuroBasket, which could also result, due to the current regulations, in her absence at the Olympics next year.
Bonus: She doesn’t follow a strict diet
In an interview with « Elle » magazine, the basketball player revealed that she does not follow a specific diet but tries to pay attention to what she eats since signing her first professional contract. In the same interview, she mentioned that for breakfast, she drinks hot chocolate accompanied by toast or a bowl of cereal. Additionally, she always eats a piece of fruit, such as a kiwi or a banana.