The NBA community has been going crazy over a certain seven-foot French center named Victor Wembanyama. Despite the tremendous noise that is following his career as a basketball player, there are a ton of people that still don’t even know who he is. So, let’s cover that here.
Who Is Victor Wembanyama?
Victor is a physical specimen that makes his potential skyrocket off the charts. He is a 7-foot-5 French basketball prospect, with unprecedented agility and all the foundational skills to make him NBA ready. Wembanyama has played professional Basketball in France since the age of 15. He currently plays for Metropolitans 92. He will be just 19 years old when he enters the 2023 NBA Draft where he is touted as the number one overall draft pick.
That’s just the basic information that you need to know about him. There is far more to Wembanyama than meets the eye.
Wembanyama grew up in Le Chesnay, France. He was constantly playing sports as a child, particularly participating in football as a goalkeeper while simultaneously taking part in judo. During this time, his parents taught him the game of basketball, a sport he eventually fell in love with. He started to play at a local club near where he grew up and eventually joined a youth system at age ten. He was so good at what he did that he received a variety of offers from bigger known clubs such as FC Barcelona. However, his parents turned down those offers for a few years before eventually seeing him go to Barcelona anyways. As you could probably expect with a player that seemed like a prodigy at his age, he wound up playing professionally rather fast. He participated in numerous tournaments growing up and actually dominated the majority of the ones he played in.
Victor has been phenomenal during his time on the court whenever he is given the opportunity. With Nanterre 92 during the years 2019 to 2021, Wembanyama started to get some playing time in the EuroCup. He became the second youngest player to ever participate in the cup and slowly started to generate more playing time as the games passed by. His first game that saw him get extended minutes, Wembanyama racked u 14 points and 10 rebounds during a team victory against Orleans Loiret. The following season saw him get awarded the Pro A Best Young Player of the year and actually chose to leave Nanterre 92 after claiming this award. He opted to switch over to ASVEL and sign a three-year contract with the club. Once again, it took some time for him to ramp up the playing time he was getting throughout the year. However, once he earned it, he didn’t look back. He quickly had a career-high 25 points during a home win against Le Portel and later on in the year was awarded with the LNB Pro A Best Young Player award. Surprisingly, Victor chose to opt out of his contract by the end of this season, forgoing the remaining two years on there. Now for this upcoming year, Victory was able to come to a conclusion and sign with Metropolitans 92 of the Pro A league. It’s set to be a two-year deal moving forward. Although, it is worth noting that this young man might be on his way into the NBA well before these two years come to a close.
Possible Injury Concerns
As you might be able to guess, players that are listed as tall as Victor aren’t instantly expected to perform well in the NBA or any other professional league. This is especially true because Wembanyama is a lanky player to couple with that height, which translates to a lot of injury concern. Now, he’s already faced his fair share of serious injuries as a teenager, which definitely is something to monitor moving forward. The first one that really took headlines came back in December of 2020. He had suffered a stress fracture in his fibula that kept him out of action for over five months while playing for Espoirs Nanterre. The injury forced him to miss the entire postseason that year for his squad. About a full year after this injury happened, Victor suffered a fractured finger in November of 2021 to keep him out for about a full month. This one wasn’t nearly as serious; it was just yet another injury that got added onto his growing list coming into 2022. After those two, he suffered a shoulder contusion the month that he returned from his fractured finger and missed two more months on top of the previous injury. The bone contusion was near his right shoulder blade and kept him out of action for a good chunk of time despite the injury being moderately severe. Then most recently and most importantly, Wembanyama suffered a psoas injury in June of this year. He was preparing to play in the Finals for his league a few months ago when he fell down with a pretty severe injury that might get worse. The French Press labeled it as a psoas injury. For those that don’t know, the psoas is a muscle that runs from your back, all the way down to your leg. It pretty much allows people to pull their knee all the way up into their chest if they want to. If the injury lingers long enough, it could affect the way that you run and cause serious lower back pain. Think of it as something like a hip flexor injury, but something that could be a little worse if not treated properly straight away. One thing that NBA teams don’t want to hear is a seven-foot center that is already suffering from a major back injury. Bottom line, Victor has the potential to be one of the greatest players in the league at the center position if he gets drafted. The downside is that he’s been injured in practically every year since 2020, with two of them winding up being severe.