Last season (2006-2007) the FFBB (Fédération Française de Basket-ball) registered 44774 women basketball players above the age of 18. All these women are playing basketball in France for several reasons:
Women basketball players are looking for the ultimate challenge:
to enjoy the sport as recreation players at the lower level, to play for fitness reasons at the lower level, because it means socialising at all levels, to take on certain responsibilities in this team sport at all levels, to take basketball as part of their future profession in at all levels, to become semi-professional basketball players in NF2 and NF1, to become professional basketball players in the NF1 and LFB league.
And there are foreign basketball players in France who join French clubs in order to:
continue studying and play as semi-professional basketball players, be playing professional basketball in the LFB, NF1 or other leagues, get the experience as well as the exposure after leaving university, gain exposure to European basketball mainly for the American basketball players.
As you can see also junior players join the seniors. In France there are 23111 junior women playing basketball between the age of 15 and 17 (cadettes which is the last age category before senior) of whom a small percentage join basketball academies (centre de formation).
There are mixed clubs as well as pure women clubs where the women basketball players can develop. You can either go and be licensed to play basketball within the largest association, the FFBB (see pyramid above) or you can play under many of the smaller, independent associations.
The juniors with high potential normally join the academies of the 14 LFB clubs which are:
Pays d'Aix Basket 13, ASPTT Arras, Bourges Basket,