Home News Victor Wembanyama has always done things differently

Victor Wembanyama has always done things differently


NANTERRE (France) — Francois Salaun was sitting outside a cafe wearing a suit and taking drags from his vape pen on a rainy afternoon in Nanterre. Three years ago, he was a teacher at the high school just around the corner. Victor Wembanyama was a student who had to duck in order to enter classrooms but knew an extraordinary array of facts about the globe.

Salaun recalls asking his French students to write short stories about their dreams. While some shared their dreams of becoming basketball stars, Wembanyama was not one of them.

Wembanyama actually didn’t follow the prompt at all

Victor Wembanyama
Victor Wembanyama

Wembanyama actually didn’t follow the prompt at all. Instead, he wrote a story with a friend titled “Alice et Jules” about a couple whose lives were thrown into turmoil when Jules drove drunk and crashed. He then fell into a coma and woke up without having made contact with Alice. They reunited in the end.

Wembanyama preferred to do things his own way. Salaun was not bothered. He remembered Wembanyama being polite, smart, and gifted in French literature. He also said that he had a calm influence on the class.

Wembanyama was surprised by the recollection of his former teacher and it brought back a memory: victor wembanyama had once folded his long, lanky body in half so that he could play on his phone stealthily. Salaun then asked the class a question.

Wembanyama stated that he answered the question “like, out loud” while on his phone because he knew the answer. “And I recall him being like, ‘Thanks Victor, but what are your doing?’

victor Wembanyama began to laugh

  • victor Wembanyama began to laugh as he told the story. At least that moment, he was a typical teenager. He is 7’3″ tall and has never been a typical teenager.
  • He will be almost certain to be the N.B.A.’s top pick within eight months. The draft is the most talked about teenager since LeBron Jam, who called him an alien.
  • His play and potential have led to comparisons with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Hakeem Olajuwon and Kevin Durant.
  • Wembanyama can sometimes appear otherworldly when he plays basketball.
  • He is tall and has a wingspan of eight feet. It often seems like he is in two places at once. He is as fast as a smaller player but has no problem getting off the ground to block shots and grab rebounds.
  • Numerous scouts from the N.B.A. were present at this month’s Scouting Day. His French professional team, Metropolitans92, was playing against G LeagueIgnite, the N.B.A.’s development team for top prospects.
  • Team executives gathered in Las Vegas to see his game. Although Wembanyama’s team lost in the first game to Metropolitans 92, he scored 37 points including seven 3-pointers, and blocked five shots.
  •  Metropolitans 92 won the second match two days later. Wembanyama scored 36 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 blocks.
  • victor wembanyama stated that “I have always felt like I was on another level.” I was living a completely different life from everyone in school, including an elementary school.
  • I just thought differently than everyone else. I have always strived to be unique in all that I do. It’s something that I carry with me forever: To be original. Be unique. It’s almost like I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like I was born with it.
  • People who knew Wembanyama as children often joked about how he was from his own planet.
  • He was playing in a youth basketball league in his hometown of Le Chesnay west of Paris when Michael Allard, a Nanterre coach, saw him. However, Allard soon noticed more.

Allard stated in French that Allard was competitive and joyful.

Nanterre has both professional and youth teams. He won his first French championship at the age of 13. Although he loved basketball all his life, he fell in love with winning after that first French championship.

victor wembanyama stated, “I cried that morning.” “That was my first major title, so it was so wonderful.”

Wembanyama started learning English in middle school. He knew that he would need it to participate in the N.B.A.

He would need to know more than what he had learned in school. He watched videos from American Instagram accounts, as well as English-language TV shows.

He was in his teens when scouts began to flock to him.

Frederic Donnadieu said in French, “It was when He was 14 that I thought to myself, This one, he must go to the N.B.A .,'”.” Donnadieu, who was Wembanyama’s first coach at Nanterre, is now the president.

Felix Wembanyama, victor wembanyama’s father, and Elodie De Fautereau, his mother, tried to make Wembanyama’s life as normal as possible.

They ensured he was on top of his schoolwork. He was not allowed to practice with his friends if he received poor grades.

Nanterre coach Amine El Hajraoui said, “That bothered him more than anything else.”

Although Wembanyama’s parents requested that he not receive any special treatment, sometimes this was unavoidable.

At 14 he moved to Nanterre to live in the dormitory that housed the club’s players. It was a small building with brick accents, about 15 minutes from the school. Wembanyama slept in a specially made bed in northern France.

Nanterre’s club’s training area was right next to Wembanyama’s high school. It installed a refrigerator to make it easy to access the five meals per day that a caterer prepared according to nutritionists’ recommendations to help Wembanyama grow.

The school had a place for his coach to work. His schedule was managed by the principal. His mental and physical development was overseen by a group of 25 people.

Basketball was not a topic that Wembanyama discussed at home. However, his mother played and coached the sport. He was protected by his parents from the increasing number of media requests for interviews.

 They were concerned about forcing him to follow a certain path too quickly, fearing the consequences for his personal growth.

Donnadieu, his former coach, said that “if he ever decided that he would like to quit playing basketball because he was tired of the game, then he would have said, ‘I want a fun day, so I will go out.'” His story is fascinating and it’s very interesting today. It was sometimes too much for him when he was 15.

Michael Bur, who was the coach of Wembanyama in Nanterre used to do a simple exercise for his players. He would ask his players to pick a meaningful word that began with the same letter as their initial name. Wembanyama, as usual, took the assignment in another direction.

Bur remembered in French, “He said, ‘You know Coach, my name.” “I replied, Well, yes.’ Bur asked me in, French. Victor is my name because I can play all five of these positions. That was quite remarkable for a 16-year-old.

Maxime Raynaud, who was transferred to Nanterre during victor wembanyama last year, said, “Everybody is talking he being a unicorn being so different on the basketball court but in real life, he’s just a normal kid having fun with friends.”

Raynaud, Wembanyama, and Wembanyama were in training when Vincent Poirier (an older French pro) arrived. Gobert was a player for the N.B.A.’s Utah Jazz and had twice won the league’s Defensive Play of the Year Award. Teenagers began trash-talking.

Raynaud spoke of Wembanyama

Raynaud spoke of Wembanyama, saying that “as soon as we switched from talking about playing to actually being playing two-on-two, there was something that switched in his head and just turned into a kill mode.”

A viral video of the games was made. Gobert, 30 years old, is 7-foot-1 and chuckled at the excitement of seeing Wembanyama shoot over him. Gobert was 16 years older than Wembanyama.

Gobert stated that “in this age of social media, everything becomes magnified.” “You know what, that’s a lot more pressure on young children. His maturity is what I find most striking about him.

Wembanyama, who graduated high school in 2021 in Nanterre, left Nanterre’s professional club, Nanterre 92 in order to join ASVEL in Lyon, France. ASVEL is a club based near Lyon, France, and owned by the former N.B.A. Tony Parker, a French star.

In July, Wembanyama decided to return home. Metropolitans 92 is based near his parents’ house in Levallois-Perret.

The arena seats 2,800 people in the city sold out for the first three games.

“We come here to see Victor Wembanyama before he goes the U.S.,” said Jeremy Guiselin (27), speaking in French prior to a September game. It’s the last chance to see him before his superstar status before he is No. He is the No. 1 draft pick, but he will not be easy to find.

Each month, a group of employees from the team meets to discuss ways to help Wembanyama increase his strength and length. They are aware that opponents will use physical play against him.

Vincent Collet, coach of Metropolitans92 and the French national team, said that he had told Collet that he wasn’t going to try to get him into the first draft. “We want to prepare for the next goal which is to dominate the N.B.A.”

Wembanyama will miss a certain part of his life, and it will be a sad moment for him. He spent most of his life in France, mainly around Paris.

He said, “I’m going miss France, for certain.” “But I have worked my whole life for this, so I am truly grateful and thankful.”

Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson went toe to toe in two exhibition games held in Las Vegas. Henderson is expected to be drafted second behind Wembanyama next season. Henderson was able to hold his own before Henderson suffered an injury in the second game. But it was clear who everyone was there to see.

Wembanyama, despite all the chaos, still manages to unplug.

He sat down on a leather couch with tufted edges in the hotel, his knees sticking out a few inches above a coffee table, and talked excitedly about his favorite sci-fi and fantasy stories. He shared his favorite Star Wars books and said that he was a huge fan.

“I just finished the second volume of, what’s its name?” Wembanyama stated that he had read the book in French. To find the translation, he looked at his phone.

He said, “The Royal Assassin.” It is all you know.

He said, “I just finished reading my first English book a few months back.” “It was called ‘Eragon. You know all about it?”

Wembanyama puts his phone away every night before he goes to bed. He then goes through his bedtime routine and then falls asleep.

Wembanyama stated that while I could read nonfiction, my reading style is primarily to forget about the day’s events. “I’m not thinking about what I’m going do in the morning. Disconnect from the rest of the world. Fantasy is what really helps me do that. I can just let a book take me to another dimension and then fly.”

He began to read the “Game of Thrones”, also known as “Le Trone de Fer” (French translation: “The Iron Throne”) novels.

He said, “So far it may be the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.”

He’s seen the TV series and Tyrion Lannister is his favorite character, played by Peter Dinklage.

“He’s just so complex,” Wembanyama said. “And the way that he just settles into the story.”

He spoke of how much he enjoyed the TV series and was reminded about its end, which was widely disregarded.

Wembanyama smiled and shrugged his shoulders. It’s not about how it ends. It’s all about the journey.

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