Victor Wembanyama: If I had never been born, I think Scoot Henderson would deserve the top spot »


« For recognition at world level, it’s going to be the most important match of my life »said Monday the French phenomenon Victor Wembanyama, favorite to be number 1 of the next NBA draft, on the eve of a friendly meeting in Henderson.

It is a real seduction operation that the 18-year-old player, of impressive height (2.21 m and a wingspan of 2.43 m), launched in front of the media for his first steps in the United States as part of an event set up by the NBA, via its antechamber the G-League.

This will organize Tuesday and Thursday two friendly matches between his club Boulogne Levallois Metropolitans, which is however in the middle of its season in the French championship, with the NBA G-League Ignite, a selection of young people likely like him to make part of the next draft, supervised by veterans.

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The opportunity therefore for Wembanyama to show himself in his best light and confirm all the good that American observers already think of him, since for many months he has been considered the future N.1 of the Draft, which will take place June 22, 2023 right after the NBA Finals.

« I’m curious how it’s going to turn out »said the inside about the first match awaiting him on Tuesday, in Henderson’s brand new Dollar Loan Center and its 5,000 seats. « We’re a foreign team, going against an NBA team, with NBA rules, on an NBA court. It’s really going to be a first for me. I know it’s going to be fine, but I I’m still curious »he continued.

This meeting is all the more interesting as he will have in front of him another very scrutinized « prospect », Scoot Henderson. Many consider him his main competitor, to be chosen first by the NBA team that will have this chance. « Of all the prospects I’ve heard of in our crop, I think he’s my favourite. He’s the most reliable player I’ve seen. He really is a great player »estimated Wembanyama, before putting things back in order, joking: « If I had never been born, I think he would deserve first place ».

Highly mobile and agile, Victor is also capable of mid-range and three-point shooting, as well as using his long arms to be a deterrent in his racket. Assets that make it one of the most beautiful promises in world basketball since the 2021 World Cup for the under-19s, where only the Americans were able to stop their Blues in the final (83-81).

Victor Wembanyama with the Metropolitans 92

Credit: Imago

« I think he’s the best prospect we’ve ever had in our league. »said his trainer Vincent Collet, also coach of the France team, finalist of the Euro disputed in September.

« He’s amazing, not just in size, but also in skill. Despite that, he still has to learn the game. He’s very young. … We’ll try to give him that experience. That’s the deal what we went through, him and I. We want to give him that experience before he gets to the NBA. The most important thing is that he’s ready for what’s next year. »he added.

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