Basketball. Victor Wembanyama, the ball boy to conquer America

In 2018, Kylian Mbappe, who is not yet 20 years old, appeared on the face of the entire football planet. France retained its sporting prowess for years to come. In 2022, another “French genius” appears. The ball is still round but orange, the nets are no longer arms but baskets, and the lawn has been turned into a parquet floor. Victor Wembanyama has all the makings of a future basketball star, just as Kylian Mbappe was for football at his age.

Today, the 2.21-meter strong winger, who plays for the Boulogne-Levallois (Mets) Metropolitans, is staggering the statistics. It should be noted that with an average of 22.7 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks, Francilien dominates the French championship head and shoulders and leads the Mets to the top of the Betclic Elite.

“Victor Vembanyama will be the greatest player of all time”

In the US, where we like this phenomenon, everyone goes there with their own little expression to praise the French. “Victor Vembanyama will be the greatest player of all time”, predicts an NBA agent. He is the all-proclaimed number one in the next draft, a selection system for youth basketball players in the United States.

So Wembanyama is already a star across the Atlantic, so much so that scouts from 30 franchises are salivating at every visit. It is even said that many American clubs with nothing left to play for in the NBA will try to lose as many games as possible in order to finish at the bottom of the rankings and thus have the highest percentage of shooting chances. , so Wembanyama.

Considered a generational UFO, he is heralded as the future LeBron James, a basketball legend. It must be said that at 16, another Frenchman returned to the American social networks after a 1-on-1 against Rudy Gobert.

A mature boy in everything

In France, he is a rock star that all basketball fans want to see play. So, as the marketing and ticketing manager recalled during the Hauts-de-Seine team’s recent trip to Strasbourg, the Alsace room was full: “We have never seen such enthusiasm. We have had unusual requests, especially from German customers. Without special communication, we could accommodate about 10,000 people. »

For Mets home games, even at the top, tickets often sell out within hours, and the black market is booming. Some don’t hesitate to sell tickets online for six times their value.

But where does such a phenomenon come from? From the family of athletes who always accompanied him in his progress, but also from the will of a mature boy in everything.

Whether it’s because of his size, since he was already 1.90 meters tall at the age of 10, or because of his incredible technique for a player of his size, as George Eddy, who was appointed basketball commentator on Canal Plus for years, remembers, he does not leave anyone indifferent. : “When we first met, he was 15 years old and already everything was ready. His mechanics were perfect: arcade-height ball on trigger, perfectly aligned arm, high trajectory, fingertip strike with spin on the last phalanx. He had to work on shots after the competition to simulate match conditions. A shooter thing! »

A pure diamond that still needs to be polished

Shooter, but not only. He’s also a good dribbler and very quick in his acceleration despite his size, and as if that weren’t enough of his panoply, he’s also an excellent defender and blocker: “For the counter, he learned Rudy’s (Gobert) big principle very young: stay on the ground as long as possible and let the offensive player jump. He does it systematically and over a long period of time.”, George Eddy continues. It’s very simple, we see only the qualities and only a few weaknesses. The first of these is a slim build, maybe a little too much.

Observers say the youngster, too fragile to withstand the physical impact of the NBA, will need to strengthen without losing his qualities, but “If he doesn’t get injured, Victor Vembanyama will be the greatest player of all time. He is already the best player in a championship where the level of people he faces is the best at the university level (Americans) and is even very close to the level of NBA players. He dominates. It’s clear,” Another NBA agent ends.

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