The giant (2.19m) of Asvel has confirmed all the good that we think of him during the U19 World Cup.
Victor Wembanyama is a player apart. This is the observation that can be drawn at the end of a U19 World Cup where he marked the spirits with Blueberries that made the United States tremble until the end in the final, Sunday (81-83) . The 2.19m giant, outclassed with the 2002-2003 generation at just 17 years old, finished the competition with 14 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.7 blocks, inviting himself into the ideal five.
Of course, the defeat against the US mountain represents a downside. Especially since his indiscipline (5 faults) was expensive at the end of the game, after having been inconsequential in half, against Serbia. But the main thing is elsewhere: in Riga, where the best young people in the world had met, Wembanyama sent a strong message to the competition for the years to come and confirmed all the expectations placed on him.
Eye to eye with the Americans
Even in the final where he was facing the other generational talent Chet Holmgren (19 years old, 2.13m and 86kg), the new Asvel player showed that he does not have to be ashamed of the comparison . Far from it … Although he inherited the title of best player of the competition, Holmgren was not mistaken, in a press conference: “I’m pretty stingy on compliments, but he’s a special player. I thought I was tall, had long arms, but he’s a whole different caliber. He moves very well. He has a good shot. He’s technically gifted. He will be rich one day. I know he will continue to work. I hope to find him in the NBA and continue to face him for a long time.“
With 22 points, 8 rebounds and 8 blocks, the Frenchman also dominated the direct confrontation in the final. However, his opposite had more impact than his meager line of statistics (9 pts, 2 rbs, 5 wt) could suggest, especially at the end of the game, causing for example the faults of Wembanyama. For the rest, it was the bison Kenneth Lofton Jr (16 pts) who was responsible for bringing the Bleuets to the ground, dominating the debates with his head and shoulders. The French skyscraper, he looked like a bad day on the bench, unable to help his teammates until the end in this final hooked.
The best is yet to come
Very quickly outclassed during his first years at Nanterre and at INSEP, Victor Wembanyama is in any case skipping the stages at breakneck speed but without making any mistakes so far. Elected best youngster in the French championship this season (6.8 pts, 4.7 rbs, 1.9 co / game), he will play next year under the colors of Asvel, the club led by Tony Parker. A logical choice when you know how much the 17-year-old pivot is inspired by his model which has won everything across the Atlantic because if the positions and expectations have nothing to do with, the desire to win is the same for both men.
There is still time before seeing Wembanyama on the American courts since due to his very young age, he will have to wait another two years before being eligible for the NBA Draft, where he could well be the first Frenchman called up first. choice. Two years that will not be too much to prepare physically but also mentally. The tricolor pivot will be able to cut his teeth in the league and in national games of course, but also and above all within the most prestigious European cup, the Euroleague.