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Alex Sarr Excited To Play With Fellow Frenchman Bilal Coulibaly

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The Washington Wizards front office has a knack for scouting French talent after selecting Alex Sarr at No. 2 in the 2024 NBA Draft and Bilal Coulibaly in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft. Nonetheless, the two Frenchman will be the new faces of the franchise and Sarr is excited to join Coulibaly in Washington for that reason. 

“I’m looking forward to playing with all of my teammates. Especially Bilal,” Sarr said. “He’s French too and I think it’s really special to play with another Frenchman.”

During a call with media on Wednesday night after he was drafted, Sarr admitted that he hasn’t crossed paths with Coulibaly up to this point but he has been following his rookie year. And his rookie year was quite impressive.

Coulibaly’s success should be a blueprint for Sarr as he embarks on his journey with the Wizards. During a challenging year for the Wizards, Coulibaly quickly emerged as one of the team’s bright spots. 

Throughout his rookie season, he played in 63 games, starting 15 of them, and averaged 8.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. Coulibaly’s performance earned him a spot in the 2024 NBA Rising Stars game, reflecting the league’s recognition of his talent and potential.

Looking forward, Coulibaly is expected to play a crucial role in the Wizards’ future as they continue to rebuild and develop their young core. With the selection of Sarr at No. 2 in this year’s draft, it is apparent he will also be a key piece of the team’s rebuild. That is a prospect that Sarr appreciates.

“It means everything. The Wizards took a chance on me. I have a good opportunity. Now it’s my turn to work hard and make the most out of it.”

As for teaming up with Sarr, Coulibaly shares mutual excitement. Wizards General Manager Will Dawkins spoke to Double Take Sports about Coulibaly’s impressions of Sarr and how he sees them meshing together.

“He was FaceTiming me earlier today? He said, who are we taking? Who are we taking?, Dawkins shared. “And when we discussed the players a little bit because he obviously knows Alex. He said he’s a defensive guy. He’s a good guy. He’s going to going to be good in the locker room.”

“I think they both have great futures. They’re going to be workers,” Dawkins continued. “They obviously can speak French to each other, so that’ll be helpful through the rookie transition for Alex. But they compete and they both have upside as two-way players. They’re not your average rookies when it comes to mentality. And I think that’ll help us but also help them.”

The Wizards rebuild is slowing coming to fruition and with two young stars at the helm, the future looks bright.