Sports

Victor Wembanyama: The Top NBA Rookie

Victor Wembanyama

French professional basketball player Victor Wembanyama, who plays for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA), was born on January 4, 2004. He is considered one of the best basketball prospects of his generation, and the Spurs selected him first overall in the NBA draft (2023). Wembanyama shares the record for being the tallest NBA player currently playing with Boban Marjanović at 7 feet 4 inches (2.24 meters).

In 2019, Wembanyama joined Nanterre 92 of the LNB Pro A to begin his professional career. He moved to ASVEL two years later, where in his only season, he won the Pro A title.Wembanyama joined the Metropolitans 92 for the 2022–2023 season, where he led the league in scoring, rebounds, and blocks and became the youngest player to win the Pro A MVP award. He also earned Pro A Best Defender honors. He is a three-time Pro A Best Young Player and has been named an LNB All-Star twice. He has also won the MVP award for the All-Star Game once.

Wembanyama took part in international play for France. He has won two silver medals for his team at the youth level, most notably at the FIBA Under-19 World Cup in 2021, where he also set a new record for the most blocks per game in a single tournament.

In this article, we’ll talk more about his youth career, personal life, and relationships. Keep reading.

Early Life

On January 4, 2004, Wembanyama was born in Le Chesnay, France. His father, Félix, is a Congolese track and field athlete who participated in triple, long, and high jump competitions. Elodie de Fautereau, his mother, is a former player and coach of basketball. The heights of Wembanyama’s parents are 1.91 meters (6 feet 3 inches) and 1.98 meters (6 feet 6 inches), respectively. His younger brother, Oscar, played youth basketball and handball, while his older sister, Eve, is a professional basketball player. Both his grandmother, Marie Christine, and grandfather, Michel de Fautereau, were professional basketball players.

Youth Career

Before focusing on basketball, Wembanyama practiced judo and played as a goalkeeper in football. His mother, a youth basketball team coach, taught him how to play the game. Wembanyama started playing for Entente Le Chesnay Versailles at the age of seven. At ten, he joined Nanterre 92’s youth program. His remarkable height of 1.80 meters (5 feet 11 inches) caught the attention of Nanterre in 2013 when Michaël Allard, the club’s youth coach, noticed him on the bench at an under-11 game and initially thought he was a coach. Wembanyama led his team to third place in the Minicopa del Rey, an under-14 competition in Spain, in February 2018 while on loan to FC Barcelona. He said the coaches weren’t ready to put him to the test when he turned down an offer to stay on at Barcelona.

Professional Career

Wembanyama made his professional debut with the Nanterre 92 senior team in 2019–20, playing in just two games for head coach Pascal Donnadieu. He played for the under-18 squad as well as the French under-21 league, LNB Espoirs, where he primarily took part. On October 29, 2019, Wembanyama made his professional debut in the EuroCup against Brescia, playing 31 seconds. He was the second-youngest player who took part in the EuroCup, behind Stefan Petković, at fifteen years, nine months, and twenty-five days. 

Wembanyama took part in the Adidas Next Generation Tournament (ANGT) qualifying tournament in Kaunas in February 2020 while representing Nanterre’s under-18 squad. He recorded 22 points, 15 rebounds, and an ANGT record nine blocks in a victory over Zaragoza’s under-18 squad on February 8. Wembanyama led the tournament in blocks and was named to the all-tournament team with an average of 15.8 points, 12 rebounds, 2.8 steals, and six blocks per game in Kaunas. Mostly coming off the bench, he finished the Espoirs season averaging 10.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks per game.

Wembanyama signed a three-year contract with ASVEL of the Pro A and the EuroLeague on June 29, 2021. An illness at the beginning of the season kept him out of action for a month. Wembanyama made his EuroLeague debut on October 1st, recording one block in three minutes during an 88-76 victory against ſalgiris. ASVEL stated on November 10 that he would be out for two to three weeks because of a fractured finger. After suffering a bone bruise in his right shoulder against Zenit Saint Petersburg, he made a comeback on December 2 but was once more sidelined on December 20. His recovery was expected to take four to six weeks.

He was chosen for the LNB All-Star Game, which took place on December 29, but his injury stopped him from taking part. His return date was February 11th. Wembanyama defeated Le Portel 85–65 on April 3 with a season-high 25 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. On April 7, he scored his highest point total in EuroLeague history in an 81-80 loss to Olimpia Milano. Wembanyama broke his psoas muscle during a Pro A semifinal match against JDA Dijon on June 3, which resulted in his season-ending injury.

Wembanyama signed a two-year deal with Metropolitans 92 of the LNB Pro A on July 4, 2022. He was drawn to the team from head coach Vincent Collet’s track record of nurturing and providing young players with opportunities.

The San Antonio Spurs chose Wembanyama with the first overall pick in the 2023 NBA draft on June 22, 2023. He achieved several firsts upon joining the Spurs: he was the third first-overall pick in Spurs history, behind David Robinson and Tim Duncan, and he became the first French player to be picked with the first overall pick in the draft. He was also the second player from Europe to do so, after Andrea Bargnani in 2006. On July 7, against the Charlotte Hornets, he made his summer league debut, going 2-for-13 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line while scoring nine points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Dating Life and Relationships

He is not currently in a relationship, at least not with any credible evidence. He is connected to several people according to numerous rumors and unreliable reports, but as of now, none of these claims have been verified.

There are several reasons why Wembanyama’s love life is little known. Despite his young age, he is committed to his basketball career. This could be the main reason why he is not pursuing a romantic relationship. He might also just want to keep his private life out of the general public.

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