“ But what happened? Chalon was not ready! Ohlélé, ohlala, but what happened? Vichy was not ready! Ohlélé, ohlala, but what happened? Antibes was not ready! “This little refrain, this tune that easily enters your head, the Blésois sang it, arm in arm, in the middle of a locker room flooded with happiness.
— Theo Quintard (@TheoQuintard) June 11, 2022
This little refrain is actually the battle cry of AS Saint-Étienne, revisited in the ADA Blois way at the initiative of Captain Thomas Cornely. “ I am a supporter of ASSE and to sing it again, it gives me great pleasure “, slips Timothé Vergiat (12 points, 16 evaluation), Roannais of origin and supporter of Sainté since his birth. Players and staff then jumped in all directions. A clenched fist for some, a raised finger for others. But all together, they acquired the 5th title in the history of the club on the floor of the Azur Arena, after a marathon season of 60 games. The 2nd this year, after the crowning of the Hopes against… Antibes.
These Greens, unlike the Stéphanois, have (finally) experienced the joy of a climb. This time, all the lights are green : ADA Blois will indeed evolve into Betclic ÉLITE at the start of the 2023 school year. », smiles Julien Monclar, the general manager of the club. “It’s a bit like our sun, we’re among the stars. »
The communicative joy of the Blésois.
Castles of Blois and Chambord: now ADA
This is also the first time that a team sports team from Loir-et-Cher has reached the highest level. Apart from weightlifting, no sport had worn the colors of the 41 so high. Rugby and football playing respectively in Federal 3 and National 2. -et-Cher with Chambord and for 30 minutes, we have been talking about Blois with its professional basketball team, ”slips the charismatic Blois president, Paul Seignolle.
READ ALSO. ITW Timothé Vergiat (Blois): “Difficult times have united the group”
As historic as it is, this rise has inevitably revived more painful feelings. ADA Blois, yet champion of France 2018, had not reached the elite due to the lack of approval of the training center. Two seasons later: rebelote and this time it was the Covid-19 that came to shower the hopes of the climb. The Blésois were then first, the Jeep ELITE held out its arms to them and no longer seemed able to escape them. Not this time. And yet…
“In 2020, we all cried about it together”
“In 2020, we all cried about it together”, rewinds Thomas Cornely, won over by emotion over the sentences. Before adding, misty eyes: “We saw each other after the Covid-19, we had a meeting together and it was super hard because we got along too well in the team. There were young people, Lucas Bourhis, Lamine Sambe and so on. To take this climb away from us was very hard. “We don’t have any open wounds but we still have bruises”, image Mickaël Hay, the coach from Blois finally rewarded. “People will say that we deserve this climb but every year, we have to put on the overalls. Merit does not exist. And Julien Monclar added: “We didn’t win because we lost before. »
This rise was far from expected. At their worst in November and handicapped by the unfortunate injuries of Mbaye Ndiaye and Tyren Johnson, the protégés of the Jeu de Paume won the matches they needed to revive and start dreaming of the impossible. “If someone had told me at the end of 2021 that we would be here today, I would never have believed it “, admits Mickaël Hay, the coach of ADA Blois. ” In November, we were at the bottom of the trunk, we couldn’t get there. It takes time to swallow what I ask. The players were unconsciously reluctant and it disturbed them. For my part, my requirement has become minimal on my game fundamentals. They have helped me to progress myself. 5, 6 years ago, I would have remained on my principles: I too grew up with this group. »
“Tyren Johnson is the GOAT of Blois”
In this group, on and off the field, everyone found their role: Lucas Hergott carefully cut the nets of the baskets, when Timothé Vergiat, Kentan Facey and Zeke Moore were the first to swim in the confetti. “And I took a shower but it was in the water: I’m waiting for the champagne one. “laughs Mickaël Hay. Really ? Timothé Vergiat, newcomer this season, answers with a broad smile: “He is too demanding, he has too many values, he has to come back down to earth. That’s what it says, coach.
ADA Blois is a story of men. Of men, with a capital “H”. How not to think of Tyren Johnson, this American who is living his 5th season in the Loir-et-Cher? “He is the indelible player in the history of the club: he is the GOAT of Blois. At a time when Americans are visiting clubs one after the other, he has taken root in the Jeu de Paume. An abnormality. His defeat in the Pro B finals in 2013 against Antibes and Benjamin Monclar only strengthened his motivation. “It really hurt me: it was the first time that I lost a championship and I wanted my revenge,” admits the 33-year-old Louisianan.
Tyren Johnson – Paul Seignolle: more than a player – president relationship
“The strongest feeling of my career”
Moreover, an image of these finals is just as striking as it is significant. As soon as the match was over, Tyren turned to Thomas, exchanged a look with his playmaker, carried him and the two friends intertwined for a long time. It was probably Tyren Johnson’s way of giving thanks to Thomas Cornely. He, the little leader in whom few people believed and whom Julien Monclar brought to ADA Blois, at just 17 years old, to train on Tuesdays with the NM1.
“It’s the strongest feeling of my career: I really wanted to go up with ADA Blois because it’s my favorite club,” says Thomas Cornely, who has shared the last six seasons with Mickaël Hay. “It’s just love. They trusted me because I was only an NM2 player, they gave me the keys to the truck in Pro B and this year I’m in the five majors. I grew up with this club and I still do. »
— Theo Quintard (@TheoQuintard) June 12, 2022
Maybe Thomas Cornely wanted a little more than the others: he was the one who folded the return match and the series in money time with a 13-2 (65-63, 36 ‘; 67-76, 40 ‘), ending with a royal score: 18 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists for 22 evaluation. The surprise return of Ludovic Negrobar (12 points and 3 rebounds for 17 rating) with the Sharks didn’t change anything.
There is also Alexis Tanghe: the native of Blois, the man with four climbs – after Bourg, Roanne and Boulazac – who followed the club from NM2 to Pro B, who was one of the pillars of the group. There are still: Mickaël Hay, Julien Monclar, Paul Seignolle, David Morabito and David Pipereau. The list is long, almost endless. Thomas, Lucas, Tyren, Alexis, Timothy and all the others have now entered the history books. ADA Blois, a big family. The end of volume 1 of “La Grande Épopée” and the beginning of another…
See you in Betclic ELITE in 2022-2023…