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Arizona Basketball players bring new moves and new language to the court

Posted at 10:44 PM, Nov 11, 2020

TUCSON, Arizona — French is known as the language of love, but on this year's Arizona Basketball team, it's also the language of points, blocks, and rebounds.

Sophomore Christian Koloko is from Cameroon, while freshman Benedict Mathurin is from Montreal, Canada. The two francophones can bond over more than just basketball.

"It’s really cool to have a teammate who speaks the same language as you," said Mathurin.

Just as their playing styles are a little different, so too are their dialects.

"There are some words I can say in French that Christian cannot understand," added Mathurin.

And, there is some French they don’t want anyone to figure out.

"Sometimes, when I mess up a play, I might talk to Christian in French, so the coach can’t understand what I’m saying," joked Mathurin.

However, Koloko says neither player is the Wildcat who speaks the best French.

"The best French comes from France," said Koloko.

There is actually a third French speaker on the Wildcats. Freshman Daniel Batcho is from Paris. Batcho injured his knee, and he will be reevaluated in January.

"I'll come back stronger and better," said Batcho.

They are three francophones from three different parts of the world.

"The accents may be a little different, but overall it is pretty much the same," said Koloko.