Orangeville Prep (CAN), one of Canada’s premier prep programs, has produced numerous professional talent including Jamal Murray, Thon Maker, Oshae Brissett, Ignas Brazdeikis, and Luguentz Dort, among others. This year’s team is led by 2022 Jeremy Foumena, who brings legitimate size in the frontcourt at 6’11” and is a walking double-double. One of the top rebounders on The Grind Session circuit, the big man is tenacious on both sides of the glass using his high motor and physicality inside the paint. Against top-10 2023 prospect GG Jackson and Ridge View HS (SC) at The Bash showcase in early December, Foumena gobbled up 19 total rebounds (10 offensive). Foumena grew up in France playing soccer, but fell in love with basketball in his high school years. His work in the gym and play against national competition has garnered the attention of several high major suitors.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Foumena discussed modeling his game after Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo, the basketball culture in France versus Canada, his recruitment update, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Jeremy Foumena, from Montreal, Quebec, Canada:
Pro Insight: Talk a bit about your background. How did you get to where you are today?
Jeremy Foumena: Just working hard and being the guy from where I started…I started from low, I’m not going to lie. I was a basketball player that was just trying to have fun, and basketball became serious in my life and I take it seriously. And I would say since grade eight/grade nine, that's when I started realizing that basketball isn’t just fun for me. And I started putting more work, and more training, more practice and everything. I took it more seriously. That's what I would say.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?
JF: Before basketball, I was actually playing soccer, because I kind of grew up in France first — my first nine years. So for two years between six to eight, I was playing soccer in competition in France.
PI: So your family is back in France?
JF: Yeah, my whole family is basically living in France. I got family from France and from my dad’s side, I still got some family back in Cameroon, Africa. and from my mom’s side, I have family in Central Africa Republic, too. It’s those main countries and after that is everywhere in the world.
PI: For those that aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths?
JF: I would say my strength in my game is probably inside the key. Inside the key, I would say I’m unguardable if I was cocky (smiles). Inside the key — that's my main strength. I have a mid-range, a little fadeaway in the mid-range. And I would say rebound[ing], offensive and defensive rebounds are my strengths, too. That's where my main game is.
PI: Who do you model your game after and try to study on film?
JF: It’s two players, actually. It’s Joel Embiid and Giannis. I’m watching both of them. Right now, I’m trying to be like Joel Embiid, but be combined with Giannis. Giannis is tall. He’s 6’11”, but he's quick on his feet, and he can dribble the ball and he can go fast break. That's what I really want to work on and be like.
PI: What do you feel you still need to improve on the most? What have you been working on?
JF: To be honest, my quickness [and] my feet. My lateral quickness and how low I can get because I think I'm not low enough to like to explode on the first dribble or just when I play defense on guards. That's what you want. I'm trying to work on it, just improve, and be better at the next level.
PI: What are your current measurements?
JF: My height, I'm 6’11”. My weight is 230, 235 [pounds]. And my wingspan is 7’2”.
PI: Do you have a specific training regimen?
JF: Yeah, I kind of just go in the gym and start with shooting form. And after, I start with hook shots, 50 right, 50 left, and I start with like 10 mid-range from each spot. So the five spots is 50. And after it's kind of with my trainer, I'm trying to just work.
PI: Who do you train with?
JF: It’s a guy that's in Toronto in my city. His name is Jeremy Alleyne. That's the guy I've been working with for two years now. I'm working out with him. He used to be an assistant coach for Humber College in Canada, and he still coaches some teams around.
PI: Talk a bit about the basketball culture in France versus Canada.
JF: I would say, like, personally, I've been in France for not that long. I've been in France for nine years, so I didn't know that much, but from the point I see right now, the culture in Canada for basketball is more important than France, because basketball is like one of the two main sports. When you talk about basketball and you think about hockey first in Canada after basketball, and in France there is way more soccer. They always talk about soccer, but basketball is the present, but not as much as basketball here in Canada.
PI: How has your experience at Orangeville Prep been so far?
JF: Great, it’s been great. I think the best coach I have ever been with is Coach Tony McIntyre. He’s really the best in what he is doing, especially when coaching. Every time I step on the court I'm confident with what he is saying and all the stuff he said, makes sense on the court. So I'm buying in 100-percent and I just keep going.
PI: How was your experience with the Georgia Stars?
JF: That experience was great, too. I would say I played well at least in my class, and to see the coaches on the side, the full experience of AAU, you know, and I think it was great. I had a couple games like I played well and a couple games I played bad, but overall it was a great experience.
PI: How did you end up landing at Georgia Stars?
JF: Yeah. It was during the year because last year before Orangeville Prep, I was playing with a team called Central Pointe [Christian Academy] and that team is in Orlando, a state beside Georgia. So that's how I knew Georgia Stars and in their recruitment, they talked to me and connected. And I was like, “let's do it.”
PI: What are your short term goals you have for yourself as a player?
JF: To be honest, it’s just like I said before, the weakness I have, the feet and all that, to be able to guard a guard, be quick, and be able to handle the ball more. And I will say [that my] personal goals is to go D1 next year, be one of the main players in the team, and help my team to win and hopefully go to the next level.
PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?
JF: I like to play video games. I like to go play laser tag. I like to do that, too. Those are the two main things I like to do.
PI: When you say video games, you mean 2K?
JF: Yeah, 2K, MyCareer with MyPlayer. Exactly.
PI: Who’s your go-to team for 2K?
JF: My favorite team to use on 2K right now is probably Brooklyn Nets, ‘cause of KD and James Harden, and you can play with Kyrie and I think it's the team on 2K right now.
PI: Who are your favorite music artists?
JF: It’s between two guys, it’s between Lil Baby and NBA YoungBoy.
PI: If you were stuck forever on a deserted island and had all the food, water, and shelter you needed — what three personal items would you bring?
JF: A basketball. Can I say a person? (interviewer nods). I will say my mom, a basketball, and my phone.
PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?
PI: What’s your recruitment update? Who has been recruiting you the most, lately?
JF: Right now, I would say Washington State is still talking to me since I played a game my first year in Orlando, they've been talking to me. Right now, in the last couple weeks, I had a couple of calls, so they stay in touch, but they keep talking. I'm talking with Georgetown, Illinois, Oregon, Marquette, DePaul, and Indiana for the schools that talked to me.
PI: What will ultimately be your deciding factors when making your choice?
JF: It’s just to balance the right fit. I will talk to my parents and if they want to know me, like to know about [me] personally, not just know about the basketball part. Like I said, take care of me, talk to me, and be able to have a relationship with a coach outside of the court. That's really the main part, and when I feel it out you know, it will definitely be the college, the right college.
PI: There are a lot more post-grad options available these days with G League Ignite, OTE, and NBL, among others. Have you and your family done much research into those opportunities?
JF: No, not yet. Neither of them have touched yet with those types of interests, but definitely if they went in, if I got a call about that, I would think about it, definitely.
PI: How would you define the word ‘success?’
JF: Success for me is to be the best you can be and do everything [and] be everything to be the number one, that's what I would say.
PI: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
JF: It’s in everything you do, even if it’s to do the laundry, be the guy to go to the court, or even just do a simple task, be the first guy to do it. I always be the first in front of everybody. And that's the advice from my father.
PI: Do you guys talk a lot?
JF: Yeah, I’m very close. My parents are together. When I’m in Montreal, I'm living with them when I go back home. I'm always with my parents, and I got siblings too, two little brothers and my little sister. I'm always with them. I’m really close with my family.
PI: Who’s someone you really look up to?
JF: I would say probably my dad. My dad is the main role model, but like an idol, as an idol role model, I would say Giannis, because Giannis takes care of his brothers and you can see how he is acting on the court and off the court. That's really the man I'm trying to be. His story is similar to mine so it's really Giannis.
PI: Name four words that best describe you.
JF: Oh my god. This is tough. I would say polite, hard-working, machine, and funny.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
JF: I just want to be one-of-a-kind, one of a like… moral of the story to be like somebody who gives back to the community, somebody who did a lot, just not only on the basketball court, but off the court. And I really want to give to people who mean a lot to me — my parents, create hospitals, create schools, do something, but not just with money later. That’s what I want to do.