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Meet Victor Wembanyama: The 7-Foot-4 Basketball Phenom

Victor Wembanyama is one of the best rookies this year, according to National Basketball Association (NBA) commentators. He gained popularity for his tremendous height reaching 7 feet 4 inches at just 20 years old. He was chosen by the San Antonio Spurs with the first overall pick of the NBA draft.

Wembanyama was born on January 4, 2004, in Le Chesnay, France. He was greatly known for his height, at the age of nine he was 5 feet 11 inches tall. At ten years old, he joined the Nanterre basketball team and gained gained skills on the court and enhanced his abilities to shoot, pass and defend. According to Wembanyama, it was during these times that he developed his desire to play basketball at a professional level. Over time, he taught himself English as he knew it was the language of the NBA, and he continued to practice his skills.

In 2019 at the age of 15, Wembanyama made his professional debut by appearing in the European professional basketball competition EuroCup with Nanterre's senior team. They were able to win a silver medal in the tournament. In 2020, Wembanyama played in the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament and helped the Nanterres win second place.

In the 2021-22 season, Wembanyama left Nanterre for ASVEL Basket. During this season, Wembanyama and the French team competed in the world basketball youth championships, Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) U19 World Cup, against the United States at the finale. Despite being two years younger than the next youngest player on the court, Wembanyama had extraordinary defense skills that set a FIBA record for the highest number of shots blocked in a single tournament (5.7 blocks per game). Following this, Wembanyama was named a Pro A Best Young Player of the Year and scouts from the United States began to take notice.

In the 2022-23 season, Wembanyama joined the Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitan 92 of the Pro A League. Here, was the first pick for the 2022-23 season. As a starting center, he averaged 21.6 points and 10.4 rebounds. These were outstanding averages, especially when put into comparison with famous all-star players such as LeBron James, who averaged 28.9 points and 8.3 rebounds. During this season, Wembanyama became the youngest player to win the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award and even won other awards such as top scorer, best shot blocker, best defender, and best young player.

Wembanyama officially announced intentions to enter the NBA draft in April 2023 at the young age of 19. He was selected by the Spurs the following June and became the second European player to be picked first overall in the NBA draft.

Victor Wembanya’s extraordinary skills will only develop further as he competes at the professional level. It will be exciting to see his career develop over the next few years in the NBA.

[Source: Encyclopedia Britannica]

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