There was a happy 7-foot Frenchman walking around Cox Pavilion Tuesday.
Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert watched France’s national soccer team advance to the World Cup final before arriving to the arena for Day 5 of the NBA Summer League.
“I’m excited for my country,” said Gobert , who was born in Saint-Quentin, France. “It’s been a few years since we got this opportunity. I’m just very excited and going back to France Thursday, and hopefully we can win Sunday and celebrate.”
France defeated Belgium 1-0 in the World Cup semifinals in Russia. Kylian Mbappe and the French won’t know their opponent until after Wednesday’s England-Croatia matchup.
“(France is) very good defensively, and I think they’re playing like the best team in the world right now,” said Gobert, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA.
Gobert is hoping for a massive Sunday celebration in France. But for now, he’ll celebrate the semifinal victory with Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell at Summer League.