NBA: French teen star Wembanyama arrives in New York for Draft

AFP , Tuesday 20 Jun 2023

Victor Wembanyama signed autographs for well-wishers after getting off a flight from France on Monday ahead of his expected selection with the top pick in Thursday's NBA Draft.

Metropolitan 92's French center Victor Wembanyama (R) attempts a three-point basket during game three of the French Elite basketball finals against Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 in Paris, on June 15, 2023. Photo: AFP


The 7-foot-4 (2.24m) teen prodigy is expected to be selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the top pick in the annual allocation of talent, to be conducted in New York.

Supporters, some clad in Spurs jerseys, greeted the 19-year-old Frenchman after his plane landed in New Jersey, handing him basketballs and jerseys and collectibles to autograph, which he did with a smile.

"I don't know how they knew what flight I was on," Wembanyama said in a video distributed by the NBA on its social media platforms.

"But you know, it's fun, it's different, seeing that you can have such impact on people."

Wembanyama is expected to speak before the draft and then travel to Texas after the draft.

The French star has the size and strength to dominate defensively mixed with the ballhandling skills and passing talent of a guard, providing a unique package that has analysts calling him the best prospect since LeBron James joined the NBA two decades ago.

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