One of our contacts in France mentioned Fofana as a prospect worth taking a look at, so we took the liberty of tracking down some footage of the young French prospect. Despite having only a handful of undistinguished performances for Tony Parker
s ASVEL team in the French League and the Eurocup, the Paris native has played extensively in Frances junior league, the Espoirs. His team, Lyon-Villerbaune, has compiled a 10-6 record, thanks in large part to his play down low. While Espoirs is by no means a great level of competition, Fofana routinely displays enough upside to warrant another look down the road if he makes the jump to the LNB next season .
Listed anywhere from 610 to 71, Fofana looks and plays like a legitimate 7-footer. He possesses a huge wingspan, but like most players his age, his frame is still a major work in progress. While his size is his biggest asset at this point, Fofana shows better than average foot speed, but lacks the explosiveness that will only come from added lower-body strength. He elevates well to block shots and finish at the rim, but is by no means quick off the floor.
On the offensive end, Fofana shows some nice tools. He looks pretty comfortable scoring inside showing a nice right hand, an effective up-and-under move, and pretty good touch, but he doesnt have much polish on his left hand, overall back-to-the-basket game, or midrange jumper. In Espoirs play, Fofana is a dominant interior presence who makes an absolute killing on the offensive glass. In the same competition two years again he was essentially a non-factor, so it is obvious that hes getting better.
The qualities that make Fofana worth taking a second look at are the glimpses of floor-game that he shows. Despite spending the vast majority of his time posting up on the block, he seems capable of putting the ball on the floor, even displaying a decent cross-over in the few opportunities we got to see him go one-on-one. His ability to pass out of the post, and swing the ball on the perimeter show that he has a decent basketball IQ as well.
Unfortunately, this awareness doesnt manifest itself on the defensive end consistently. His size and length make him an effective shot blocker and rebounder, but hell often lose the ball when he drops into help-side, hurting his ability to contest as many shots as he is capable of. Hes also prone to lunging at shooters rather than closing them out, but appears to have solid lateral quickness when he stays disciplined.
At this point, Fofana is nothing more than a project considering how raw his skills are, the level of competition he plays at, and the fact that hes not even one of the top-20 scorers in that league. He has the tools to develop into a legitimate prospect down the road, but he desperately needs to show that he can compete consistently at a higher level. With Tony Parker
joining ASVELs ownership team, it wouldnt be surprising to see the club attract a few higher-level free agents, which could relegate Fofana to Espoirs once again next season. However, if he makes the strides necessary to earn playing time in Head Coach Vincent Collets rotation, his exposure-level could certainly increase, as Villerbaune appears to be the most ambitious club in France at the moment. While Fofanas NBA potential looks questionable at best right now, hes certainly a player to keep an eye on thanks to his physical attributes.