NBA 2024: Wembanyama becomes first Frenchman to lift prestigious NBA award

Victor Wembanyama of San Antonio Spurs. Cr. Getty.Victor Wembanyama of San Antonio Spurs. Cr. Getty.
Victor Wembanyama of San Antonio Spurs. Cr. Getty.
Victor Wembanyama has followed in the footsteps of LeBron James and Michael Jordan by being the first French player to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award.

San Antonio Spurs star Victor Wembanyama has been crowned the NBA Rookie of the Year for 2024.

The 7ft 4in star has enjoyed a phenomenal debut season in the NBA. Wembanyama has averaged 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.6 blocks per game to beat Oklahoma City Thunder’s Chet Holmgren to the award. Brandon Miller of the Charlotte Hornets was named third.

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"My goals were always to help my team as best as I could,” Wembanyama told TNT Sports. “I knew that in order to do this I had to be individually good on the court and dominant. It is a huge thing for me, a big thing to get. It has always been really important and I'm glad it's finally official."

While the Spurs finished with the second worst record in the division last year, Wembanyama smashed a number of NBA records with many tipping him to be one of the best players of all time in the coming seasons. ‘Wemby’ became the youngest and fastest player to record a ‘5 by 5’ when he collected a total of 27 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, five steals and five blocked shots in one game.

Just 20-years-old, Wembanyama was the number one pick in the NBA draft last year and is the first since player since Karl-Anthony Towns in 2016 to win the award unanimously after earning all 99 first-place votes. The award has been won in the past by NBA greats such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

The French icon has followed in the footsteps of the aforementioned names by agreeing a deal with Nike to produce his own shoe brand known as ‘Alien’. The NBA confirmed earlier in the month that the player will also return home to play in France as part of next season’s annual Paris NBA game 2025 against Indiana Pacers. He is also expected to be selected by France for this summer's Olympics in Paris.

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