Europe’s next basketball phenom

Europe’s next basketball phenom

The French Freak has arrived, and his name is Victor Wembanyama. A video of a 16-year-old playing a game of 2-on-2 with Utah’s All-Star Rudy Gobert went viral, showcasing the incredible skillset one of the world’s most promising basketball prospects possesses.

ESPN’s Mike Schmitz declared Wembanyama Europe’s top prospect in February, after his performance at the Adidas Next Generation Tournament (ANGT) in Lithuania – an under-18 competition featuring eight different European clubs. “Wembanyama wowed NBA scouts at ANGT, finishing the tourney with averages of 15.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, 6.0 blocks, and 2.8 steals in just 28.1 minutes over the course of four games for Nanterre. The flashes he showed in key areas are unlike any player I’ve ever evaluated at that age.”

Wembanyama’s skillset for a guy who stands at 7-2 is really impressive. Almost unprecedented. He moves like a wing, he can shoot it off the dribble, he can dribble the ball pretty well for a player of his size, and he’s very underrated as a passer. Also, despite his thin frame, Wemanyama’s defensive potential is through the roof. His agility and ability to move laterally, combined with a huge 7-8 wingspan, make him potentially a defensive game-changer, regardless of competition level. And he hopes to compete against the best of the best.

My goal is to go to the NBA. I want to be as good as possible. That’s my mentality. I don’t want to simply supplement a team. I don’t like having someone above me. I don’t want to prove something, but I also don’t want to disappoint myself.

Victor Wembanyama, Le Parisien

Victor currently plays for or Nanterre 92 in France’s Pro A, the same franchise that has produced the likes of Gobert, Tony Parker, Evan Fournier, and Boris Diaw. So, situation-wise, he’s in the right system, the one that proved it’s capable of shaping future NBA players. And Victor Wembanyama might have the highest ceiling of them all.