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Meet the 7-foot-4 NBA Draft Dubbed “The Most Talented Prospect Since LeBron James” | NBA | sports

Victor Wimpanyama after several NBA teams are expected to go through the second half of the season and ‘intentionally’ lose games to secure one of the worst records in the league for the best odds of landing him with the first pick. NBA Draft. Many stars have been touted as the next big thing, but when ESPN’s NBA insider Brian Windhorst and former correspondent for the Cleveland Cavaliers says you’re “as big, young and skilled” as anyone who’s seen the modern NBA, the uproar She is probably justified.

The world of the NBA at large was introduced to the 19-year-old Frenchman by two stunning performances against the G League Ignite in Las Vegas last October.

But boy wonders has he been dazzling fans back home in France for some time with impressive performances for Nanterre 92 ahead of a season with Euroleague football club ASVEL. Like many sports fans, Wimpanyama played a variety of sports in his younger years, but with genetic advantages stemming from being the offspring of two former athletes standing six feet or more tall, basketball soon became his main focus.

In a recent Sports Illustrated profile of the teen sensation, Wimpanyama explained how important his family’s support is in keeping him grounded. “There will never be people who know you better than your family,” he told the newspaper.

“My family is a part of me, they are the people I love the most on earth. I just couldn’t do it without them.”

Wimpanyama’s father, Felix, stands at 6 feet 6 inches and is a former athletics star while his mother, Elodie de Futero, 6 feet 3 inches, is a former athlete and youth coach. His older sister, Yves, 21, now plays professionally for Monaco and his younger brother, Oscar, 15, has featured for his former Lyon team’s youth club.

The French star’s massive frame certainly attracts most of the headlines, but as his former coach Karim Boubakary explained to Sports Illustrated, it’s his ability to pick up new skills that sets him apart from his peers. “He is able to reproduce movements very quickly,” he told the outlet.

“He’s always been able to try risky things [and] Sometimes he succeeds, sometimes he doesn’t, but he’s always very calm and level-headed.” These qualities were on full display during the 2022/23 season with French side Metropolitans 92 where the future star leads the league with 22.2 points per game, 9.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks.

He posted four consecutive 30-point games in December before leading the French team to the LNB All-Star Game as he scored 27 points, 12 rebounds and four assists to become the youngest player in tournament history. “Everyone has been called a unicorn over the past few years,” LeBron James told reporters after Wimpanyama’s stunning appearance in Las Vegas last year.

“But he is more like an alien. Nobody has ever seen anyone so tall but so agile and agile as him on Earth.”

Fittingly, James, the last prospect amassing this level of hype in 2003, would make such a glowing reference to the youngster’s game and, unfair though it may be, Wimpanyama’s career will likely be judged alongside the adult player’s. The age is 38 years old and also the big man and NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Injury risk is the only real concern for an NBA talent scout – native Les Chasney certainly has his fair share of shakes – but despite the huge expectations and upcoming demands of leading the French national team into the 2024 Home Olympics, Wimpanyama refuses to. You give in to pressure.

“There’s really no pressure,” he told Sports Illustrated. “I have thought about this and I know young players feel a lot of pressure and [can] They lose their minds. The reason I don’t feel like it is because I’m only focused on my goals. I don’t care about the rest. “


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