NBA: G League-Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans at Ignite

Victor Wembanyama is widely regarded as the best NBA prospect since LeBron James. The 7-foot-4 big man from France at only 19 years old has accomplished more than most of his peers at this stage and has the size, frame and skill set to immediately slot in as an impact rookie in the toughest league in the world next season.

Wembanyama has all but formally locked up the No. 1 spot in the 2023 NBA Draft. He even knows it, too. Earlier this week he tweeted that he would know later this month -- when the lottery order is announced -- exactly where he'd be going. Because guess what? Who will go No. 1 on draft night has been a foregone conclusion for months now. Even in a loaded draft class, Wembanyama -- literally and figuratively -- towers above the rest of the bunch.

Whether or not Wembanyama -- who some, including him, call "Wemby" for short -- lives up to the lofty expectations set before him at this point matters not. The hype has been built. The stage is set. The expectations are higher than his 8-foot wingspan can reach. The drumbeat to his coming to the league and the publicity surrounding him is likely only to increase with intensity in coming weeks and months.  

Here are 11 things to know about Wembanyama:

1. Wembanyama was born in France

Wembanyama was born in Nanterre, France, on Jan. 4, 2004 and would be the second No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick born in Europe.

Highest NBA Draft Selections Born in Europe in modern draft era (Since 1966)
Year Player Selection Country
2006Andrea Bargnani1stItaly
2003Darko Milicic2ndSerbia
1993Shawn Bradley2ndGermany
1988Rik Smits2ndNetherlands

2. Wembanyama has no college experience

Wembanyama currently plays in LNB Pro A, the top professional league in France. Without college experience, Wembanyama would be just the sixth No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick who did not play NCAA basketball.

No. 1 overall picks who did not play NCAA basketball in modern draft era (since 1966)
2001Kwame BrownHigh School
2002Yao MingChina
2003LeBron JamesHigh School
2004Dwight HowardHigh School
2006Andrea BargnaniItaly

3. Wembanyama was sidelined last season 

In 2021-22, he played for ASVEL, a team owned by Tony Parker. ASVEL won its third straight LNB Pro A title and competed in the EuroLeague for the third straight season. However, Wembanyama missed three months with a knee injury from December to March and played just 29 of 66 possible games across LNB Pro A and EuroLeague. In those 29 games, he played just 18.0 minutes per game, ninth on the team.

Where Wembanyama ranks on ASVEL 
2021-22 AVG.Team Rank

4. Wembanyama is dominating EuroLeague this season 

In 2022-23, he is playing for Metropolitans 92, a team that has never reached the LNB Pro A title game and has never competed in the EuroLeague. His coach is Vincent Collet, who has been the coach of France's National Team since 2009 and has coached all of the best NBA players who represent France internationally, including Tony Parker, Joakim Noah, Nicolas Batum, Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier and Boris Diaw. He leads LNB Pro A in scoring (21.5), rebounding (10.5), and blocks (3.1) and would be the first player in at least 20 years to lead that league in scoring and rebounding.

Where Wembanyama ranks in LNB Pro A 
Stats as of May 1  
AVG.Team Rank
Metropolitan 92s v G League Ignite
Victor Wembanyama is looking to make a name for himself next season in the NBA.  Getty Images

5. Wembanyama's stats are elite 

 Only nine NBA players have ever matched Wembanyama's current LNB Pro A season averages of 20+ points per game and 3+ blocks per game since 1973-74 when blocks were first tracked. All nine are in the Hall of Fame. 

NBA Seasons With 20+ PPG & 3+ BPG
PlayerNumber of times
Hakeem Olajuwon9
David Robinson7
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar7
Patrick Ewing5
Alonzo Mourning4
Shaquille O'Neal2
Elvin Hayes1
Bob Lanier1
Bob McAdoo1

6. Wembanyama measures up to NBA players

Wembanyama is listed at 7-4 on the Metropolitans 92 roster and would match Boban Marjanovic as the tallest active NBA player. Only six players in NBA history listed 7-4 or taller have played 400+ career games. The most recent was Yao Ming. 

Most Games by NBA Player Listed 7-4 or Taller
Mark Eaton7-4875
Rik Smits7-4867
Shawn Bradley7-6832
Manute Bol7-6624
Yao Ming7-6486
Ralph Sampson7-4456
Boban Marjanovic (active)7-4317 

7. Wembanyama is tall but wiry 

Wembanyama is listed at 238 pounds on the Metropolitans 92 roster. The last NBA player listed 7-4 or taller and under 250 pounds was Shawn Bradley.

Lightest Players Listed 7-4 or Taller
Manute Bol7-6200
Chuck Nevitt7-5217
Ralph Sampson7-4228
Shawn Bradley7-6235
Rik Smits7-4250

8. Wembanyama can shoot from deep 

Wembanyama has made 74 3-pointers in his LNB Pro A career -- a rarity for a player of his height. In fact, his 74 3-pointers is more than the 3-pointers made by NBA players 7-4 or taller combined (72).

3-pointers Made by NBA Players 7-4 or taller
Manute Bol7-643
Boban Marjanovic (active)7-410
Ralph Sampson7-410
Shawn Bradley7-64
Rik Smits7-43
Yao Ming7-62

9. Wembanyama can do it all 

Wembanyama is averaging 3+ blocks, 2+ assists & 1+ made 3-pointers per game this season. No NBA player has ever averaged those numbers in a season. The last NBA player to average 3+ blocks & 2+ assists was Marcus Camby in 2007-08. The only two NBA players ever to average 3+ blocks & 1+ made 3-pointer are Myles Turner and Jaren Jackson Jr.

10. Wembanyama won battle vs. likely No. 2 pick 

Back in October, Wembanyama scored 73 points in two games in Las Vegas vs. the G League Ignite and potential No. 2 pick Scoot Henderson, who had 28 points in the first game and didn't play in the secoind game due to injury,

Victor Wembanyama vs G-League Ignite in October
StatGame 1Game 2

11. Wembanyama is already drawing rave reviews

The statistics don't lie, but Wembanyama isn't just putting up huge numbers. Here's just a sampling of what NBA players are saying about Wembanyama after watching him play:

"Everybody's been a unicorn over the last few years, but [Wembanyama] is more like an alien. No one has ever seen anyone as tall as he is but as fluid and as graceful as he is out on the floor. At 7-4, 7-5, 7-3, whatever the case may be, his ability to put the ball on the floor, shoot stepback jumpers out of the post, stepback 3s, catch-and-shoot 3s, block shots, he's for sure a generational talent." —  LeBron James

"He's like the 2K create-a-player, every point guard that wants to be 7-foot. Cheat-code-type vibes, man. He's a solid talent. It's great to watch."  — Stephen Curry

"He's incredible. I believe in 2045, everybody is going to look like Victor. His skills, the way he can shoot the ball, the way he can move, he's extremely fast for his size, he can block shots, he can be a threat on the defensive end, he's unbelievable. He has the chance to be one of the best, not at his age, not in Europe, but one of the best to ever play this game. We have never seen someone like that before. I think it's a good challenge for everybody in the league, to have somebody who's (7-foot-4) and is able to shoot over you, dribble like he's a guard, block shots, and run down the floor fast. We gotta get ready for this kid, you know? He's going to be really good."  — Giannis Antetokounmpo

"That type of talent and skill just puts a smile on your face if you play basketball. The evolution of the game has taken us this far. We got a (7-4) dude that's able to do everything on the court. It's inspiring to a lot of people. The league's really in trouble when he comes in. I want to see how it plays out. Everybody has been excited about his arrival to the league so we'll see what happens." - —  Kevin Durant

"It's really exciting. We are lucky to have such talent, we have never seen a player like Victor. I have known him since he was 13 and we knew he was going to be unique. He is very mature, he knows where he wants to go. I don't think there is any comparison possible." — Rudy Gobert