An acrobat is on the loose in the ACB. And it’s not just any one. The story of Yves Pons, Girona Basket striker, 24 years old and measuring 2.00 m, is very special. He was born in the poorest neighborhood in Haiti, grew up in an orphanage and was adopted by a family of French artists, he played the sax, danced jazz and took part in tap dancing, judo and basketball as a child he was a photographer specializing in portraits in his free time and Today, after passing through the NBA, he stands out in the Spanish League for his spectacular flights to sign a dunk or a block.
Cité Soleil, the largest and most malnourished slum in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital. Yves Pons was born on May 7, 1999 and soon a life destined for survival will take an unexpected turn. At the age of four, a French couple adopted him from an orphanage. It wasn’t just any family either. “I grew up in Fuveau, in the south of France. And it was great to do it in an artistic environment. My mother was a professional dancer and my grandfather played many instruments. He was the director of his own group. So when I was little, I learned to play the saxophone, I danced jazz, I played basketball, I did judo and tap dancing… I think I adopted a lot of skills from different activities and brought them all together in basketball”, explains Yves Pons to EL. PAÍS.
“Jazz is like a sport dance. It helps you especially when you are so young to develop your body, your muscles. This gave me an advantage when I first started playing basketball. I was six, seven years old and dancing as an extra activity helped me jump higher than others because my body was used to those jumps through dancing. This gave me a big advantage on the track. “My body is made to jump,” he adds.
Pons moved to Paris at the age of 13 and progressed in stages until a new trip, this time to the United States: four seasons at the University of Tennessee before taking the plunge into the NBA supported by the physics of this jumper. During the 2021-22 season, the son of artists signed up for Memphis without much notoriety over 12 games (1.1 points and one rebound on average). It was time to return to France, to Tony Parker’s Asvel Basket, where last season he impressed in the dunk contest, catching the ball over the giant Wembanyama (2.22 m) towards the hoop.
Such strengths led him to his debut in the senior French team. And today Girona is the team that loves these jumps. On the second day, Pons blocked Gran Canaria’s Prkacin (2.06m) with both hands, as if it were a volleyball block. Another image shows him towering over teammate Stefan Djordjevic, also 2.06m, towards the board. And his flights to crush the rim sometimes appear in the summaries of the most notable actions, in addition to collecting other good statistics: 9.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per meeting in 13 games played in ACB. This Sunday, he added eight points, five sacks and a block (the best mark, 12, of his team) in Girona’s defeat against Joventut de Badalona by 67-82. The objective of qualifying for the Copa del Rey which will be played next February in Malaga is still on the horizon.
“I define myself above all as a defender, someone who brings a lot of energy to the pitch and gives one hundred percent every minute. I like to defend, protect my basket and make blocks. I’m a guy with athletic ability, I like to run and I’m trying to improve my three-point shooting. My physique allows me to put on a show,” confides Yves Pons.
From this childhood between dances and music, he retains an artistic touch, his love for photography and especially for portraits. “It’s my second passion, an escape outside of my job, basketball. I love the happiness it brings. It makes me happy to take a photo of someone and even more so when they like the result, because I feel like I’ve accomplished something. I love to capture this moment to save it,” says the Girona striker. He likes to experiment with effects, work on his creations on the computer and even put some of his products on sale. Sometimes he walks through the streets of Girona, a couple catches his eye, for example, and he photographs them sitting on a staircase, in the sun. Then he shows them the result and enjoys this moment of lovers’ happiness when they see themselves on the small screen. “I will send you the photo!” he told them happily.
Pons was accredited as photographer for a Girona women’s team match, another experience on the other side of the camera. “I really enjoyed it,” he said. And his future plans include opening his own photography studio when he puts the basketball away. He also wants to return to Haiti one day. He hasn’t returned since he was a child, when he barely dreamed of being the protagonist of the picture.
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