As he prepares to start his final season in France before flying to the NBA, Victor Wembanyama retains immense hype in the United States. However, his status as announced number 1 of the Draft 2023 does not prevent an immense fear which hovers over him.
We thought he would finish his French course at ASVEL, where he had signed in the summer of 2021, but it was indeed Boulogne-Levallois that Victor Wembanyama joined a few weeks ago. A return home for the Parisian, who hopes to prepare for his arrival in the NBA next summer. Across the Atlantic, the mutant is expected as the messiah, and scouts as leaders never stop salivating at the totally crazy profile of the tricolor big man.
Wembanyama, the big fear of health
Nevertheless, a sports career is never a long calm river, and a plane on Wembz: his health. At only 18 years old, the native of Chesnay has already experienced 4 significant injuries since the end of 2020. That’s a lot, and it’s even too much, especially for a player whose size and precedents in the NBA necessarily encourage caution…
The SB Nation site, which has been looking at the Frenchman for a long time, wrote these very apt lines about Wembanyama:
Wembanyama has been on the radar of NBA franchises for a very long time, and it’s no exaggeration to say that several teams have been preparing for his arrival in the Draft for many years. His blend of power, skill, coordination and athleticism is nothing short of historic. Nothing is ever certain when it comes to an 18-year-old prospect coming to the NBA, but there’s no doubt that Wembanyama has the tools to be a truly unheard-of prospect.
There is only one “if” that can stop him in his tracks: his health. Wembanyama hasn’t been able to put together long spells so far, suffering from various injuries in recent years. An inevitably worrying situation for the teams which will be at the top of the Draft next year. The Frenchman has played 33 of the possible 76 games this season with ASVEL, and missed the end of the playoffs due to a muscle injury.
This muscle injury concerns his psoas, a muscle in the upper thigh that can be recurrent and cause pain in the lower back. However, these glitches are the kryptonite of many big men, which is not reassuring…
Beyond his production on the field and his purely basketball qualities, which have already conquered the entire NBA, Wembanyama will therefore have to strive to show that he is more physically solid during this 2022-2023 season at Boulogne-Levallois. A complete campaign, or almost complete, would be extremely valuable to reassure the various suitors, and lock once and for all the 1st pick of the Draft.
Health is the big question mark for Victor Wembanyama. This is undoubtedly the priority axis in the last months before the Draft. Let’s hope, for him and for all the fans of the orange ball, that the tricolor’s body holds up.