19-year-old Frenchman, Victor Wembanyama (Metropolitans 92), is the first overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft according to the NBA. The young basketball player was officially chosen by the San Antonio Spurs as the first overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
According to The Black Wall Street Times, Wembanyama is regarded as one of the game’s greatest prospects since LeBron James was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the first overall pick of the NBA draft in 2003.
The French athlete was overcome with emotion as he approached NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, on stage to shake hands – as Silver made the selections at the 2023 draft held in Brooklyn.
The 19-year-old told ESPN that he had been working toward this goal for his entire life. “Hearing that sentence from Adam Silver, I’ve dreamed of it so much that I had to cry, man,” he said.
Wembanyama participated in 44 games for Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 in France last season, averaging 20.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, and 2.5 assists, according to the BBC.
Gregg Popovich, coach of the Spurs, said, “We’re thrilled that we were able to bring Victor on board.” He also noted that the French athlete is a clearly gifted and very responsible young man.
He however added that, just like every draft pick, “whether it’s the first pick or the 27th pick or the 38th pick”, there is a responsibility to each and every one of the players to try to create an environment where they can achieve the best success possible for them.
Wembanyama later received praise from French President, Emmanuel Macron, on Twitter for being “the first Frenchman to be the first pick in the NBA draft.”
NBA superstar, LeBron James, referred to the 19-year-old as an alien after being impressed by the prodigy’s talent while watching him play in an exhibition game; concluding that Wembanyama is a “generational talent.”
After being selected by the San Antonio Spurs, Wembanyama stated, “My goal is to try and learn as much as possible because I want to win that ring.”
The 19-year-old joins a young group in San Antonio that already consists of Malaki Branham, Keldon Johnson, Jeremy Sochan, Devin Vassell, and Tre Jones.
The center, who stands at 7 feet 4 inches tall, made history by winning the title of the LNB Pro A Most Valuable Player as the league’s youngest recipient last year.
He has also received other honors, including Best Blocker, Best Young Player, Best Defender, and Best Scorer in the league. Additionally, Victor Wembanyama was chosen for the All-Pro A First Team.