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Victor Wembanyama: “My goal is to be like something you’ve never seen”

James Foglio profile picture
Updated 2 months ago on

5 min read

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Victor Wembanyama: "My goal is to be like something you've never seen"
USA Today Network
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French prospect Victor Wembanyama plans on becoming one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He’s 7’3″ and has a 7.5-foot wingspan. The 18-year-old forward/center is also shooting for originality.

“I’m gonna tell you something that’s been going on in my life, like for my whole life, since I’ve been a kid, even before I played basketball,” Wembanyama told ESPN.

“I’ve always tried to do [something] different. I’m not even talking about sports, whatever. Any field, I’m always trying to be original, something original, something one of one, something that’s never been done before.”

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“And this is really how it worked in my life,” continued Victor Wembanyama. “I don’t know where it comes from. I think I was born with it. I’ve always been trying to be original. Unique, that’s the word. My goal is to be like something you’ve never seen.”

So, the Frenchman wants to leave behind a long-lasting legacy. His professional career started in 2019, when he made his debut with Nanterre 92, a basketball club based in Nanterre, France.

On October 29, 2019, Wembanyama made his debut with Nanterre 92 against Brescia in the EuroCup. At 15 years, nine months, and 25 days old, the forward/center became the second-youngest player behind Stefan Petković to ever appear in a game in the EuroCup.

Victor Wembanyama: “My goal is to be like something you’ve never seen”

In the 2020-21 season, while appearing in four games of the EuroCup, Wembanyama averaged 8.3 minutes, 1.3 points, and 2.3 rebounds per contest. He also shot 33% from the field and 50% from downtown.

As for his LNB Pro A statistics with Nanterre 92, in 18 games, the forward/center averaged 6.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. With a total of 34 blocks, he finished fourth overall in the Pro A (34).

Of course, he won LNB Pro A Best Young Player as well.

Then, in June 2021, the Frenchman signed a three-year contract with ASVEL of the Pro A and EuroLeague. Through 13 appearances in the EuroLeague during the 2021-22 season, Wembanyama averaged 6.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per contest.

On April 3, in the ASVEL’s 85-65 win against Le Portel, the forward/center scored a career-high 25 points.

While in the LNB Pro A, Victor Wembanyama averaged career highs of 9.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in 16 appearances. Plus, he shot 47.3% from the floor.

He went on to win his second LNB Pro A Best Young Player award.

Furthermore, ASVEL finished as the top seed of the league’s 100th season. They also won their 21st title in club history. However, at the end of the season, Wembanyama opted out of his contract.

Wembanyama wants to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft

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Back in June, Victor Wembanyama signed a two-year deal with the Metropolitans 92 of the Pro A. Last month, he scored 34 points versus Darussafaka, a professional basketball club based in Istanbul, Turkey.

Two days later, he scored another 34 points against Hapoel Holon. In his first Betclic Elite performance of the 2022-23 season, the forward/center recorded 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks.

Metropolitans 92 coach Vincent Collet has high hopes for Wembanyama. He’s coaching the Frenchman and training with him every week to prepare him for the 2023 NBA Draft. The prospect turns 19 in January.

“Many people around him are always telling him, ‘It’s great, what you do is fantastic.,” explained Collet. “And me, I am the coach, so I am the one that most sometimes say, ‘This is not good, this you could do better.’ And for me, this is the most important, to teach him.”

Victor Wembanyama wants to be the top pick in next year’s draft. That’s one of his goals. “At the end of the day, regardless of what position you get picked in the draft, I think the most important is to have the best career afterwards,” Wembanyama said.

“But as an athlete and as a competitor, I can’t accept not to be No. 1.”

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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