1v1 with Allison Pineau

July 15, 2014, 2:30 p.m. (ET)

The USA Team Handball Federation held an open tryout for athletes interested in joining the Residency Program in Auburn, Ala. on July 12-13. Visiting from Europe and serving as a guest evaluator was French handballer Allison Pineau. Pineau was gracious enough to stay after the first training session for a quick interview with Communications Specialist, Maurice Godwin.

Pineau (third, from left) visits a USATH Residency Program Women's tryout with friends Cindy Verrelle (far left) and Milorad Minovski (far right). Pineau helped WNT Coach Christian Latulippe evaluate the Residency candidates.

What position do you play?


We know that you are a member of the French National Handball Team. What is the name of your club team?

Skopje (ZRK Vardar SCBT, in Macedonia).

How were you introduced to handball?

When I was younger, I played many sports. When I was around 10 years old, a handball coach saw me one day and said, “You have good size and good hands. You should come try handball.” The rest is history.

Do you have any role models or people who inspire you?

Oh, I have many. A few of them are Michael Jordan and Jackson Richardson.

You have had quite a successful career so far. What are some of your accomplishments that you are most proud of?

Oh wow. There are a lot. Well, I can list them: [IHF] best player in the world in 2009; I won two [World Championship] silver medals in 2009 and 2011 (both with France); two Best Playmaker Awards at the Worlds (2009, 2011); national championship with Skopje (Macedonian Cup, 2013); and bronze medal in 2005 with my Junior [French] National team. Oh, and I can’t forget the gold medal at the Mediterranean Games (in 2009).

What do you like to do to get ready for games? Any special pre-game routines?

I used to have one before my surgery, but now, nothing. I just go out and play.

You had an injury?

Yes, an ACL injury. I was out for 11 months.

How are you know?

I’m back. 100%. (smiles)

So, you’ve accomplished much so far. What are your goals for the future?

I’d like to win the EHF Champions Cup one day, an Olympic gold medal, of course, and a title with the [French] National Team.

Which title?

Any title! Worlds. Olympic. European. Any. (laughs)

You started at an early age and now you’re successful. Do you have any advice for young American handball players?

Yes! Have a fighting spirit. You have to be a hard worker and believe that you can succeed. Anything is possible!

You can follow Allison Pineau on her Facebook page and on Twitter!