While it’s intriguing to hear, read and wonder about all of the amazing things the basketball world has to say about Victor Wembanyama it’s even better to witness this must see prospect with your own eyes.
In this article I’ll tell you who Victor Wembanyama is, give you 4 reasons why everyone is talking about him, tell you how you can watch him play and then encourage you to decide for yourself if the Wembanyama hype is justified.
Who is Victor Wembanyama?
Wembanyama is a teenage basketball phenom from France. Whether or not Wembanyama realized it at the time the preparation for the biggest basketball stage in the world began in middle school for the young prodigy. That’s when he taught himself english by watching TV shows and Instagram videos in english.
Wembanyama loves fantasy, Sci-fi, Star Wars and fictional books. So it’s amusing that he’s compared to aliens, and unicorns in addition to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ralph Sampson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and many other NBA greats at such a young age.
How old is Wembanyama?
Victor Wembanyama is currently 18 years old. He was born in 2004 and will turn 19 on January 4th, 2023.
What ethnicity is Victor Wembanyama?
Victor was born in the Le Chesney suburb of France where his athletic pedigree runs deep. His father Felix, a 6′ 6″ former long jumper and French citizen hails from the Democratic Republic of Congo. His mother Elodie de Fautereau is a 6’3″ former basketball player and coach. She was born in France.
Now that you know who Victor Wembanyama is let’s take a look at the four reasons why everyone in the basketball world is talking about him.
#1. Victor Wembanyama is expected to take the NBA to new heights
The basketball world never witnessed a unique prospect with league altering potential like Wembanyama. So it’s only natural that high expectations are placed on the young prodigy.
As of today I can almost guarantee that this gifted 2023 NBA Draft prospect will fulfill the tall order of taking the NBA to new heights. But just not in the way you’re probably thinking.
How tall is Victor Wembanyama? Upon entering the NBA Wembanyama will immediately become one of the tallest players in the league along with Boban Marjanovic and Kristaps Porzingis. Plus he’s only 18 years old, still growing and will more than likely become the tallest player in the NBA at some point if he’s not already.
In reality are we really just talking about his actual height? Or are we talking about a prospect with the potential to change the landscape of the NBA for years to come? Well, maybe a little bit of both. Which leads us to reason number 2.
#2. Projected to be the 1st Pick In the 2023 NBA Draft
When NBA front office executives refer to a prospect as franchise or league altering talent it’s safe to assume that same prospect is projected as the first pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. I mean what front office in their right mind would pass on that type of generational talent?
NBA front offices have known about Wembanyama for some time now. But the major commercial hype surrounding him started in 2020.
During a two on two workout with NBA star Rudy Gobert a 16 year old Wembanyama showed out. He held his own against a grown man and bonafide 3x NBA All star. Plus there’s video footage to prove it!
A glimpse into Wembanyama’s future
In the video you get a glimpse into what Wembanyama would become as a player. A young lanky 7’ 2”- 7’ 4” (depending on who you ask), 210 lbs center/forward with a reported 8 foot wingspan, 9’ 7” standing reach, guard skills, generational talent potential and the projected first pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
In essence we caught a sneak peek into the third reason as to why everyone is talking about Victor Wembanyama.
#3. A transformative big with the potential to play all five positions
Wembanyama is a fluid big man that’s very agile and nimble for his size. He runs the floor effortlessly, is in solid shape and has the stamina to get up and down during fast paced games.
Standing at 7 feet and then some, Wembanyama moves like a guard, handles the rock like a guard and has the well rounded skill set of an elite NBA SF. Yet he’s skilled enough to score around the basket like a traditional big. Plus it doesn’t hurt that some of his dunks look out of this world or straight out of a video game.
Can Victor Wembanyama shoot?
Yes, he has the potential to knock down shots off the handoff, in catch & shoot opportunities or create his shot off the dribble on a consistent basis. Plus his height advantage allows him to easily shoot over defenders.
Wembanyama is currently on two year deal with Boulogne Levallois Metropolitans 92, a French basketball team. Through his first seven games of the season Wembanyama has shot 33% from long Distance. He connected on 11-33 tries from deep so far.
On the defensive end Wembanyama has the potential to be a excellent pick & roll defender. His solid lateral movement and wingspan affords hims the ability to effectively defend guards after switching.
When Wembanyama plays back he gives shooters a false sense of security. His ability to close the distance in order to contest and block jump shots is deceptive, effective and elite.
When you’re a transformative big with the potential to play all five positions it’s easy to see why there is a concern about teams attempting to tank for Wembanyama.
#4. Teams tanking for Wembanyama is a legitimate concern
I’ve always felt like I was on a different level…
Victor Wembanyama quoted in the New York Times
There’s merit to this statement! He’s widely regarded as a generational talent. If Wembanyama is the best NBA Draft prospect ever or the most promising prospect since Lebron James then the question “are teams going to tank for Wembanyama?” is indeed a very legitimate talking point.
So much so that the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver put NBA teams on notice in an attempt to prevent tanking for the projected 1st pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
How you can watch Wembanyama play
The NBA recently made it possible to easily see Victor Wembanyama play for free. You can watch him play on the NBA App live stream.
Is Wembanyama the best NBA prospect ever? Is he an alien or a unicorn? Is he a generational or league altering talent? Tune in and make the decision for yourself.