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NBA’s Tony Parker buys French basketball team

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-21

San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker has become the majority stakeholder in the French professional basketball club Asvel, and will take over as the president of the organisation in May.

Parker, 32, owned 10 percent of the team’s shares and has been its vice-president in charge of operations since 2009.

He has reached a deal with the team’s current owner, Gilles Moretton, to take control of the club from the city of Lyon at the end of this season, French sport’s daily L’Equipe reported on Friday.

Parker told the French media that he has never hidden his interest in purchasing a professional basketball team in France, but declined to reveal how much he paid for the controlling interest of Asvel.

"The time was right. I want to take advantage of the very positive surge French basketball has experienced ever since [the national team] won the Euro championship,” Parker told reporters.

He also said he hoped to make Asver “one of the best teams in Europe.”

Asvel finished the last professional basketball season in third place, but have slipped to eight place this year.

Parker, who was born in Belgium to an American father and Dutch mother, acquired French nationality as a teenager.

While acting as the French club’s next president, Parker said he hoped to continue playing for the Spurs for the next five to six years, and to complete his last professional season wearing Asvel’s olive-green jersey.

He previously played for Asvel for one month during the in 2011 NBA lockout.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2014-03-21

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