A top insider recently detailed what super-prospect Victor Wembanyama is doing to ready for the jump to the NBA next season, and it is unbelievable because it includes complete support from his team in France.
Every so often a young talent comes along that is so unique and gifted that superstardom is nearly guaranteed. However, few can deliver on that promise. Lebron James is one of the most prominent young athletes who lived up to the unreal hype surrounding him. Now, French teenager Victor Wembanyama is the latest player talent evaluators are calling a once-in-a-generation talent.
During a Monday appearance on ESPN “First Take,” NBA insider Brian Windhorst explained what the 19-year-old is going threw before joining the league next season, and it seems that his team, Boulogne-Levallois, is breaking from the norms of professional clubs to help Wembanyama deliver on his potential in the United States.
“When I compare him to Lebron [James] 20 years ago; Lebron didn’t want for anything when he was 18 years old. He had trainers, weight training, and good coaching but it doesn’t compare with what’s been going on with Wembanyama. He has NBA agents who represent a bunch of French star players and they’ve constructed this entire year in France to get him ready for the NBA. The entire team he plays on in France is stocked with a roster with the sole purpose to get Victor ready.
“This is unheard of in Europe. The European teams have to take care of their own business. They signed point guards who were in the NBA last year so they could work with him on the way NBA does pick-and-rolls. They signed young players so they can have more energetic practices. He is totally on a different routine getting ready for the NBA.”– Brian Windhorst
More reasons why Victor Wembanyama’s NBA transition could be seamless
The reason why the French teenager is being viewed as an NBA unicorn is that he is 7-foot-5, has very good ball-handling skills, as well as a well-developed offensive game and shooting touch. However, like many athletes his age and height, he is quite slender and it has been the biggest knock from his detractors.
However, Windhorst claimed with the game being far different than a decade ago, Victor Wembanyama is already confronting and succeeding against the types of defensive schemes he’ll likely see in the NBA.
“I know people are going to see that this guy is 7-foot-5 and weighs 220 pounds and they’re going to say, ‘he’s going to come into the NBA and he’s going to get knocked around because he’s too thin.’ He’s absolutely slight. [His team] don’t want him to put on weight. They don’t want him to eat a bunch of calories to try to get bulked up. They want him to naturally mature.
“When Lebron came into the NBA it was absolute war every night in that paint. I remember Ron Artest, when he was a rookie, basically playing football with him to teach him a lesson on how to be physical in the NBA. That’s not the case now in the modern NBA, and already over in Europe, there are teams that have abandoned putting centers on him. They now just put their strongest forward on him and say, ‘go body him.’ Guess, what? At age 19, in a man’s league in France, he’s averaging 22 points a game, 10 points a game, three blocks a game, he’s dominating there.”– Brian Windhorst\
All the stats that Windhorst mentioned from Victor Wembanyama are leading those categories in the LNB Pro A league.