Par Emilien Vicens
updated on 27 Apr 22 at 15:41
Native Perpignan, Ismail Pontiac is today one of the greatest hopes of his sport, and could even shine at the United States in the months and years to come. Fallen into the pot of Baseball very small, the young man of 21 ans has just achieved a real feat: integrating a american varsity team, the antechamber of the biggest championship in the world. News Perpignan painted his portrait.
Ismaïl Pontiac, trained at the Phénix de Perpignan
First interested in rugby, from an early age, Ismaïl was too small to join the club of Moulin in Wind. The kid stays in his neighborhood, but heads for the Sports Park where he integrates Phoenix of Perpignan, the only baseball club in Eastern Pyrenees. This is where it all begins. “I immediately got hooked on this sport, I never left,” recalls Ismaïl.
It must be said at the Pontiacs, baseball is actually a family affair. His father, Michael, is a former player, who became manager of the regional youth team and France youth team coach. And his uncle is also one of the club’s coaches.
“I was lucky to always be around the grounds, even before I started baseball, thanks to my dad. Very early on, I had this habit of throwing the ball, hitting, etc. Then when I started to practice and to player in Perpignan, without any pretension, it is true that it was easier for me. I hit harder than the others, I didn’t have not afraid of the ballI already had certain habits”, explains the young prodigy.
“At the beginning, I practiced this sport for fun, explains Ismail. “Then the Federation set up the regional youth teams, when I had 11 ans. That’s when I started to understand that I had a certain level and that it was possible to do something with it. The coach of Hopes Pole from Montpellier was interested in recruiting me, ”he explains.
Perpignan, Montpellier… and then Toulouse, where Ismaïl integrates the CREPS France Division, during his high school years. “In Toulouse, I managed to get a university contract to the United States. From that moment, reaching the high level became a real objective, ”assures the Perpignanais.
From Perpignan to the University of Arkansas
In 2019, Ismaïl Pontiac crosses the Atlantic and integrates Cochise College, in Arizona. With his team, he plays in the first junior university division. Barely a few months later, he was selected in France youth team to play Euro U23.
On the sidelines of his american studies (he lives only thanks to his university scholarship), Ismaïl Pontiac continues his sporting progress. A few weeks ago, the news falls, several universities are interested in his profile, of which c, in Monticello, which evolves into NCAA 2 (2e university department). Ismail thus becomes the first french to join a team of this level.
“This is only the beginning, there is still a long way to go”
” This is just the beginning, The way is still long. But I’m very grateful to have come to this today. I am very happy, and very excited at the idea of discovering a higher level next year. It’s a big challenge who awaits me”, measures the person concerned, who evolves to the position of launcher (read elsewhere).
The one who is going to celebrate 22 ans beginning of June is now at the gates of the Major league baseball, the most prestigious championship on the planet. ” Everything is possible. I obviously dream of becoming a professional, ”aims at Ismaïl.
Summoned in French team, in 2020, the native of Perpignan had not been able to know his first selection, due to the cancellation of the meetings because of the Covid-19. This summer, the latter will finally achieve his first objective: to wear the blue-white-red jersey. Before making France and the Pyrénées-Orientales shine in the United States?
The pitching position in baseball: instructions for use
What is the position of pitcher in baseball? Ismaïl Pontiac explains all this to us:
“My role is to throw the ball to my teammate, the wrestler, positioned behind the opponent who has the baseball bat. And my goal is to prevent the opponent from hit the ball. To do this, I have a lot of techniques: fast balls, balls with effects of direction and speed. I have to be able to destabilize the striker as much as possible”.
Ismaïl invites you to understand his role with a short video of his training (below).
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