The San Antonio Spurs struck gold this season by securing the first overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, signing the French teenage sensation, Victor Wembanyama, who stands at 7 ft 4″ with a wingspan of 8 ft. But who is Victory Wembanyama, and why is he the most talked about player in the NBA this season?
The 19-year-old French basketball sensation is the most hyped NBA prospect since LeBron James. Considered an anomaly because of his once-in-a-lifetime combination of height and skills, Wemby was drafted first overall in the 2023 NBA Draft for the San Antonio Spurs and made his debut against the
In this Victor Wembanyama story…
- Victor Wembanyama Quick Facts
- Who is Victor Wembanyama?
- Victor Wembanyama Salary
- What is Victor Wembanyama’s Height?
- What is Victor Wembanyama’s wingspan?
- What is Victor Wembanyama’s shoe size?
- Victor Wembanyama Parents
- Victor Wembanyama Girlfriend
- Victor Wembanyama College
- Victor Wembanyana NBA Draft
- Victor Wembanyama Spurs
Victor Wembanyama Quick Facts
|Age||19 years old|
|Date of Birth||4 January 2004|
|Place of Birth||Le Chesnay, France|
|Height||7 ft 4 in/ 2.24m|
|Weight||210 lbs/95 kg|
|Net Worth||$1.5 million (estimated )|
|Salary||$12.6 million (2023-24 NBA season)|
|@wemby – 2.8 million followers|
Who is Victor Wembanyama?
Victor Wembanyama is a 19-year-old French basketball player who plays for the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA. Born in Le Chesnay, France, Wemby first played football as a kid but his mother, who was a basketball player and coach, introduced him to playing hoops from an early age.
Victor would then join youth programs before rising the ranks and making France’s Youth national team.
Wemby began playing competitive basketball at the age of seven when he joined Entente Le Chesnay Versailles. He was discovered by Nanterre basketball club head coach Michael Allard and ended up playing for the youth team of Nanterre 92. Victor got his first taste of professional basketball action when he played for Nanterre 92’s senior ball club during the 2019-20 season.
He moved to Tony Parker’s ASVEL team in the LNB Pro A during the 2021-22 season but Wembanyama sat out three months from December to March with a knee injury and played in only 29 out of 66 possible games across LNB Pro A and the Euroleague. He averaged 8.1 points, 4. 6 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game.
In the summer of 2021, French agent Bouna Ndiaye sent Wembanyama to the basketball academy of Dirk Nowitzki’s mentor Holger Geschwinder in Würzburg, Germany for 10 days. He returned better than ever.
After winning the Best Young Player for the second straight season, Wemby opted out of his contract with ASVEL and joined the Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92, also in the LNB Pro A, in July 2022.
Wembanyama averaged 21.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game while leading the Metropolitans 92 to the Playoffs. At the end of the season, Wembanyama became the youngest player to win the LNB Pro A MVP award. He was also an LNB Pro A first-team selection, Best Defender, Best Scorer, and Best Blocker.
In the playoffs, Wemby led the Metropolitans 92 to the Finals where they were swept 3-0 by As Monaco. On April 21, 2023, he declared for the 2023 NBA Draft.
Victor Wembanyama Salary
Victor Wembanyama’s salary in the French top tier wasn’t officially disclosed, but he is believed to have received an estimated monthly salary of €15,000 – €20,000 EUR (~$25,000 AUD – $33,000 AUD).
That’s just peanuts, however, compared to how much he is making in the NBA; according to Sportrac, Wemby signed a four-year $55.1 million contract with the Spurs.
The deal includes $24.9 million in guaranteed wages while the 3rd and 4th years of the agreement are a club option. This season, Wemby will earn at least $12.6 million.
Last February, Wembanyama’s representatives told ESPN that the Frenchman could end up with endorsement deals worth at least $100 million. This will include an anticipated windfall from a big sneaker deal.
Remember, that former No. 1 pick LeBron James signed a seven-year $90 million deal with Nike in 2003. In 2021, No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson also signed a $75 million deal with the Jordan Brand. Wemby was among the 2023-24 NBA rookies who signed a shoe contract with Nike, although Wembanyama signed his deal when he was still playing in the French League.
What is Victor Wembanyama’s Height?
Officially, Victor Wembanyama is listed at 7ft 4″ or 2.24 cm on the NBA’s website. He is tied with Boban Marjanovic as the tallest current player in the NBA. Boston Celtics Latvian Unicorn Kristaps Porzingis is the third tallest at 7ft 3″.
Wembanya is among the Top 10 Tallest Players in NBA history. The tallest players ever were Gheorghe Muresan and Manutel Bol at 7ft 7″ tall. At 7ft 6″ were Tack Fall, Slavko Vranes, Shawn Bradley, and Yao Ming. Listed at 7ft 5″ were Chuck Nevitt, Pavel Podkolzin, and Sim Bhullar.
What is Victor Wembanyama’s wingspan?
Victor Wembanyama’s wingspan was measured at 8 feet.
That would be the third longest wingspan ever by an NBA player, after Manute Bol’s 8ft 6″ and Tacko Fall’s 8ft 2″.
Currently, Wemby has the longest wingspan in the NBA with Utah’s Mo Bamba and Boban Marjanovic next, with each listed at 7ft 10″. Minnesota Timberwolves Stifle Tower Rudy Gobert follows at 7ft 9″. Meanwhile, Mark Williams, Bol Bol, and Udoka Azubuike are next with a wingspan of 7ft 7″.
What is Victor Wembanyama’s shoe size?
According to Kicks.com, Wembanyama wears a US size 20.5 shoe. Although that’s relatively huge, it’s not the largest shoe size ever in NBA history.
That distinction belongs to The Diesel, Shaquille O’Neal who wore US size 22 shoes during his playing days. The only other players to have at least size 20 shoes are the Lopez twins, Brook and Robin.
Since his playing days in France, Wemby had worn the Nike Greater Than or GT Series. To date, he’s worn the GT Run and GT Hustle 2 shoes. Wemby made his NBA debut against the Dallas Mavericks wearing the Nike GT Run Player Exclusive.
Although it’s still too early in his NBA career, shoe experts believe that Wemby will get his own signature shoe. Before last season, only 22 players had signature shoes.
Since then, Nike announced the release of the signature shoes of Ja Morant and Devin Booker. Meanwhile, Lakers guard Austin Reaves also got his own shoe from the Chinese Brand Rigorer.
Victor Wembanyama Parents
Wembanyama was born in Le Chesnay, France to a family of athletes. His father Felix, who is of Congolese descent, was a former track and field athlete who competed in the long jump.
According to Victor, it was his dad who taught him how to run and jump properly given his longer dimensions.
Meanwhile, his mother Elodie was a former basketball player who competed professionally and was a youth basketball coach. Felix is 6-6 tall while Elodie stands 6-3, so it’s no wonder that Wemby grew up to be very tall.
Victor’s sister Eve is 6ft 1″ tall and she played for the French women’s national team which won the gold medal at the 2017 FIBA U16 Championship. His younger brother, Oscar is now 6ft 5″ tall and plays for ASVEL’s U18 team. Even his grandfather Michel de Fautereau was a professional basketball player for Paris University Club in the French First Division during the 60s and was 6ft 7″ tall.
“I mean, I had the choice and I still have the choice to play or not play basketball, but basketball has always been around,” Wembanyama says. “I can’t avoid it in my family.”
Victor Wembanyama Girlfriend
Victor Wembanyama is a very private person and he doesn’t share much about his personal life on social media. As such, it cannot be confirmed if he has a girlfriend or not.
However, there are no reports of Victor Wembanyama being in a relationship in the past. It looks like basketball is really Wemby’s main focus and right now, he doesn’t have time to go out on dates, much more fall in love. What’s clear however is that he loves the game so much that he’s put in years of work in his craft.
Victor Wembanyama College
Wemby did not attend college because he entered the NBA draft at the age of 18. However, he attended Lycee Hoche, a public high school back home in Versailles. Victor earned his baccalaureat there, meaning he completed secondary school.
Victor Wembanyana NBA Draft
Although it was long believed that Wembanyana would be the first overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft, the Frenchman only officially declared to join the Draft last April 21, 2023.
“Declaring for the draft … it’s something crazy I’m not realizing yet,” Wembanyama told ESPN. “I realised pretty young I wanted to play in the NBA but it becomes a reality more every day. I’m so lucky to have this dream within the reach of my hand.”
On May 16, 2023, the San Antonio Spurs won the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery and earned the right to pick first in the 2023 NBA Draft. Victor and his family were caught on video celebrating after the Spurs were announced as the Draft Lottery winners as they’ve always stated that he preferred to play for the Spurs.
Victor later spoke of why he was happy and why the entire French nation was rooting for the Spurs to win the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery:
Then last June 22, 2023, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, the Spur officially picked Victor Wembanyama as the top pick of the draft.
Wemby wore a green Louis Vuitton suit that resembled a kimono with matching skinny-fit trousers when NBA commissioner Adam Silver called his name. Victor completed his Draft Day look with brown J.M. Weston dress shoes and a Bismuth stone pendant necklace.
Victor Wembanyama Spurs
Victor Wembanyama began his Spurs playing career during the Summer League where he appeared in two games. He then played four games during the preseason and now it’s on to the real deal in the regular season.
At 7ft 4″, Wemby has the ability to block shots. When he played in the FIBA U19, he averaged 5.7 blocks per game against the best young basketball players in the world.
Aside from blocking his own man, Wemby has excellent lateral movement which enables him to be an effective help defender and allows him to block shots of opponents he isn’t guarding. But that’s not it. He also has the quickness to defend guards and smaller players on the perimeter. As we saw in the Summer League and preseason, head coach Gregg Popovich is allowing him to be a free-roamer on the court, hence, he gets plenty of opportunities to block shots.
Wemby showed his ridiculous blocking ability during their preseason game against the Golden State Warriors where he blocked 5 shots including this one against Andrew Wiggins.
But shot blocking is just one part of Wemby’s game. Offensively, he has a soft touch around the basket and can also finish strong with dunks. But what makes Wembanyama really special, is his ability to score from the outside, even beyond the three-point arc, with consistency. He has a feathery touch on his jump shot and is a very good ball-handler considering his size.
During the preseason, Wemby made 7 three-pointers in four games played, proving his ability to hit the three-ball. Not surprisingly, his first NBA basket also came from downtown:
Although he was plagued by foul trouble, Wemby finished his NBA debut with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1 steal while shooting 6-9 from the field including 3-5 from three-point distance. Sure, it wasn’t as good as LeBron James’ NBA debut in 2003 but we saw a glimpse of how good Victor will be in the coming games and years.