On Saturday April 10, against La Tronche-Meylan, Johanna Tayeau will play the last match of the last championship of her professional basketball career. The Guadeloupean will have known, in thirteen years, three professional clubs in France: Limoges, La Roche then Chartres. Now it’s time for reconversion, in Guadeloupe, where Johanna Tayeau intends to offer everything that metropolitan basketball has given her.
Johanna Tayeau, this Saturday April 10, 2021, you will play your last basketball game, in the league. How are you going to approach it? I still can not realize that it is the last.
When did you say to yourself: “this will be my last”? In 2019, I took a break from my career, I took a sabbatical from basketball, I returned to Guadeloupe to recharge my batteries. I hesitated to start again, then I told myself that I could not end like this! And Benoît Marty called me! I gave myself two more seasons.
At what age did you start playing? I have been playing basketball since I was 10 years old. It’s not my first sport. I started with football. But I was cold on the pitch. When I arrived in metropolitan France, in Corbeil-Essonnes, I entered a basketball hall and I immediately hooked. It was on: departmental selections, hope center, training center in Bourges, and I signed my first professional contract at 19, in Limoges (L2F), then in the Women’s League, before leaving for La Roche-sur- Yon for seven seasons, and Chartres.
I like this kind of matches with the public, it pulsates in the chest. It’s more than a game. If we lose it, we finish second and we only remember the first!
Did you play a few times against AB Chartres at the time? Yes, quite a few times. It was always very intense matches, including the 2017 play-offs, the clash of the titans. We take the climb on the beautiful one that we win here.
Have you experienced many such strong moments? In Ligue 2, yes. I played a lot of finals. I like this kind of matches with the public, it pulsates in the chest. It’s more than a game. If we lose it, we finish second and we only remember the first!
The Chartraines pay themselves the leader
You have the reputation of being a real competitor! It seems ! I was even told that I could have played more in the League. I preferred to play in top-of-the-table teams in L2F who are fighting for the title. Admittedly, it is not the same basketball. In the League, it’s more tactical, more technical, more fluid, more neat too.
Developing basketball in Guadeloupe will be my new challenge
Are you sportingly fulfilled over the last two seasons at Chartres? No. It is at the level of injuries. Other than ankle surgery, I have always been spared major injuries before. Last year, I broke my hand, this year, I got a big tear in my hamstrings. It annoys me this kind of injury. I am frustrated !
Play-offs, reduced version for basketball players in Chartres
Didn’t this frustration make you want to extend the lease? No, I was afraid of doing the year too long. I am ready to move on, I leave room for young people. I’ve been in this rhythm since I was 19. It’s the catchphrase, the routine. Stop. It’s been two years since I prepared to quit, although I still receive offers.
My future projects make me move on.
Proposals that could not make you change your mind? No, yet they are beautiful. It’s decided. My future projects make me move on.
Exactly, what are these projects? I’m going back to Guadeloupe, to Saint-Claude, to organize summer camps with this club to which I want to give back, to pass on, everything that pro basketball has brought me in metropolitan France. There is a great breeding ground, a lot of potential among young people. Developing basketball in Guadeloupe will be my new challenge.
I’m not done with basketball, I’m just going to go from pro player to coach.
And professionally, what activity will you have? I am going to become a coach in a club for the youth categories. I plan to develop 3×3 basketball on the island. I’m not done with basketball, I’m just going to go from pro player to coach.