The greatest prodigy that lives in European basketball visit this thursday Real Madrid. Victor Wembanyama plays in the ASVEL Villeurbanne, is 18 years old, measures 2.20 meters and has a wingspan of 2.39. It is one of those ‘unicorns’ that are seen very occasionally and, of course, already caught the attention of the NBA. For several seasons he has been considered the main candidate to be number 1 in the 2023 draft.
“He is the best player project in the world regardless of age,” commented Mike Schmitz, a prestigious ESPN analyst specializing in the draft and young players, some time ago. Despite his height, Wembanyama has the skill and shooting of a shooting guardruns the court in an incredible way, makes passes without looking, has a great vision of the game, his technique is almost perfect and plays outside positions as easily as he blocks. Things rarely seen.
He’s going to be an amazing player. He has many important things to do in his career
For all of the above, any NBA franchise knows who Wembanyama is, born in Le Chesnay20 kilometers from Paris and close to Versallesson of a long jumper who jumped up to 7.41 meters and from a former basketball player who was a member of the French Stadium and that led him in his first steps between baskets at age four. The little boy, who never was, tried out as a soccer goalkeeper and practiced judo, but he always threw basketball at him. To her sister Evealso: European U16 champion in 2017. His brother Oscar He preferred handball.
Wembanyama grew up in the Nanterre 92 although, seeing his potential, the offers soon began to rain down on him. He got to try the Barcelona on the ACB Mini Cup 2018. Two years ago, a video appeared in which she trained with Rudy Gobertthe best defender in the NBA, and the madridista Vincent Poirier. He showed his extraordinary wrist, his handling of the ball, his mobility … and his small corpulencehis main handicap even though he has gained a few kilos so far this year until he reaches 100.
The aforementioned video is already over four million views. Everyone hallucinates with the prodigy. “He’s very tall, he can shoot, rebound, block… It is a phenomenon. He’s going to be an amazing player. He has many important things to do in his career. It’s impressive that he moves like that with his height. It’s not something you see every day.”predicted Poirier in a talk this season with MARCA. “I don’t think we’ve ever seen such a talent in France. And frankly, I have rarely seen it in the world”, valued Gobert, one of his mirrors next to Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, his greatest resemblance is perhaps to Kristaps Porzingis. They share size, although the Frenchman is more mobile and the Latvian a better shooter.
The jump to the Euroleague
Last summer Wembanyama decided to take a first leap into the elite. He signed for ASVEL Villeurbanne who presides Tony Parker. He has a three-year contract, although few believe that he will comply with the possibility of being number 1 in the draft. At the moment Euroleague, weighed down by various injuries, has only played nine games. His averages do not reflect his potential: 4.9 points with 30% shooting from two and 25% from three-pointers, 3.6 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and a PIR of 3.7 in 15 minutes.
In recent games he is having more presence on the track. Last week, before the Battles of the Basque Country, beat his maximum minutes (27). He finished with nine points, seven rebounds, two blocks and a PIR of 10, his best in the competition. Against Madrid, in case he needed it, he will have an unbeatable showcase. “I won’t say the full last name because I’m going to make a mistake, but He is a young man with a lot of potential. and it is growing a lot in the last days”, valued Paul Lasso in the previous
He is a young boy with a lot of potential and he is growing a lot in the last days
Wembanyama has already proven his worth against players who, if all goes the way he has, will find him in the NBA. Last year, in the final of the U19 World Cupwas seen with United States and with Chet Holmgren, the No. 1 favorite in this year’s draft. He had 22 points, eight rebounds and eight blocks. France He ended up losing 83-81, but he had left his credentials to those who did not have them. “My goal is not to be number 1, but to be the best possible player in the NBA”affirms the prodigy, who does not evade his destiny.