50th pick at the NBA draft 2017
Thu, 01/08/19, 11:55
The Bavarians secure themselves French National Center Lessort
FC Bayern Basketball has once again strengthened its front court: the French national center Mathias Lessort will be playing for the German champions next season. The 23-year-old already has EuroLeague experience from the 2017/2018 season with Red Star Belgrade and shone last season for the Spanish EuroCup semi-finalist Malaga, for whom he averaged eleven points and 5.4 rebounds. The 6ft8 powerhouse is currently with the French team which is preparing for the World Cup in China.
"Mathias is a very athletic center that delivers a lot of energy, rebounds and defensive presence," said Bayern Sports Director Daniele Baiesi. "It completes a deep and extremely versatile front court. Our big men and forwards will complement each other and give us many options on the court. Mathias gives us a special depth in pick and roll, as he has already shown in the EuroLeague and the EuroCup. We are very happy that he chose us".
NBA draft number 50, best rebounder for Unicaja Málaga
Mathias Lessort, who is currently training with the national team in Pau, said: "I don't know Munich yet, but I'm looking forward to my start there. FC Bayern is the best option for me to return to the EuroLeague. I want to prove that I can also dominate the EuroLeague in the zone like last season in the EuroCup. I think I can help the team with a lot of things, especially on defense. And of course I want to win something, that's my goal."
Lessort is one of the most promising five players in European basketball, with his spectacular athleticism, energy and dynamism he has impressed since his professional debut in France three years ago. Philadelphia picked him at number 50 in the NBA draft in 2017.
But so far he has stayed in Europe and was second best shooter (70.1 percent) for his team in the EuroCup and best rebounder last season at Unicaja Malaga. As a newcomer in the competition he was elected to the All-EuroCup Second Team 2019. In the Spanish ACB he collected 8.6 and 5.4 rebounds.
Born and raised in the French Martinique on the Antilles, he was discovered by Élan Chalon at a tournament in 2010. After two championships with the juniors of the first division team, he moved up into the professional team in 2014, in the second season as backup for a certain Devin Booker. In 2016, he switched to league competitor Nanterre. He celebrated winning the Europe Cup (9.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and the French Cup alongside another FCBB champion, Heiko Schaffartzik (2014).
World Cup preparation with DBB opening opponent France
With Red Star, Lessort debuted 2017/2018 in the premier class, 8.5 points and 5.7 rebounds were his strong averages
Mathias Lessort made his debut for the French national team in 2017 and in the meantime has made nine appearances (8.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and is counting on chances to be in the final World Cup squad. France's opening game in Group G against Germany would bring him together with Bayern captain Danilo Barthel in Shenzhen on September 1st (14:30 hrs/MagentaSport). "I'm quite confident that I'll be there, but I still have a lot of work to do first," says Lessort. "I don't know Danilo yet, but it'll be cool."
MATHIAS MICHEL LESSORT (*29 September 1995/Fort-de-France, Martinique/FRA)
Center, Power Forward - 6 ft 8 - 247 lbs
2010 - 2014: IJT Élan Chalon (Youth)
2014 - 2016: Élan Chalon (LNB Pro A)
2016 - 2017: Nanterre 92 (LNB Pro A)
2017 - 2018: Red Star Belgrade (ABA, KLS)
2018 - 2019: Unicaja Málaga (ACB)
French Junior Champion 2012, 2013
International All-Tournament Team Nike Global Challenge 2013
4th place at the U20 European Championship 2015
"Best 6th Man" of the French Pro A 2016
NBA Draft 2017, Round 2, Number 50
French Cup Winner 2017
Fiba Europe Cup 2017
Serbian Champion 2018
All-EuroCup Second Team 2019