LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne
ASVEL Villeurbanne was one of the first powers in the French League, claiming 15 championships between 1949 and 1981, and has remained among its country’s elite clubs for the past few decades. In the 1990s, ASVEL won several cups, made the 1997 EuroLeague Final Four and reached the French League finals in five out of six seasons. It again conquered the French League in the spring of 2002, roaring through the playoffs and sweeping archrival Pau-Orthez in the finals to earn its first domestic crown in 21 years. That success carried over to the 2002-03 EuroLeague as ASVEL advanced to the Top 16, and the club continued to compete in the EuroLeague for several seasons as well as advancing into the ULEB Cup quarterfinals in 2006. With Vincent Collet as head coach, in 2009 ASVEL defeated Orleans in the French League final to claim the title. That triumph secured the club a return to the following season’s EuroLeague, but a 2-point loss in a do-or-die regular-season finale prevented ASVEL from reaching the Top 16. A major step forward came in 2014, when Tony Parker – arguably the greatest ever icon of French basketball – became club president, with the long-term aim of building a genuine European powerhouse. Five title-free seasons were ended by another domestic crown in 2016, defeating Strasbourg to become the French champion for the 18th time. One of the club’s best-ever seasons followed in 2018-19, when ASVEL reached the EuroCup quarterfinals, beat Le Mans for the French Cup and bested Monaco for the French championship. The 2019-20 campaign saw a commendable return to the EuroLeague, with nine home wins including the scalp of CSKA Moscow before the season was ended early by the COVID-19 pandemic. With President Parker’s brother TJ newly installed as Head Coach, ASVEL continued to grow the following season by collecting 13 EuroLeague regular season wins along with a French League and Cup double, showing that this ambitious club packed with talented young players is heading firmly in the right direction.