Star prospect Victor Wembanyama will play for France’s national team in November during the next round of World Cup qualifying games, per an Associated Press report. The French club is set to face Lithuania on November 11 and will play Bosnia and Herzegovina on November 14.
Wembanyama is coming off a pair of eye-opening exhibition performances against the G League Ignite this week, as he solidified his place as the No. 1 player in the 2022 draft class by pouring in 73 points and blocking nine shots in the two games. The 18-year-old big man, who told Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press that his goal is “to be like something you’ve never seen,” is drawing rave reviews from many of the NBA’s biggest stars.
“He has the chance to be one of the best — not in his age, not in Europe — but one of the best to ever play this game,” Giannis Antetokounmpo said of Wembanyama, according to Alex Kennedy of BasketballNews.com. “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-2 and is able to shoot over you and dribble like he’s a guard and block shots and run down the floor fast. We gotta get ready for this kid, you know? He’s going to be really good.”
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- While Wembanyama is considered a generational talent and earned more buzz this week, star Ignite guard Scoot Henderson isn’t ready to concede the top spot in next year’s draft, as he tells Marc J. Spears of Andscape. He also downplayed the idea that he’ll have a long-standing rivalry with the Frenchman. “I’m not worried about him,” Henderson said. “I’m worried about the next level. I’m worried about guarding Steph (Curry).”
- Jonathan Givony’s latest 2023 mock draft at ESPN (Insider-only link) has Overtime Elite guard Amen Thompson as the No. 3 pick behind Wembanyama and Henderson, followed by Arkansas’ Nick Smith and Villanova’s Cameron Whitmore.
- Speaking to Alex Molina of Eurohoops, veteran guard Tomas Satoransky expressed pride that he can say he was an NBA player, but admitted that he went through some “ups and downs” in the league. Satoransky said that he’s happy to be back in Europe, playing for Barcelona, because his new deal offers more stability for him and his family than he would have had in the NBA.
- Former UT Martin guard Craig Randall, who averaged 26.7 PPG for the Long Island Nets last season, tells Tim MacMahon of ESPN that he turned down NBA camp offers that included guaranteed money. Randall instead opted to head to Australia’s National Basketball League, where he’ll have a chance to play a significant role for the Adelaide 36ers. Randall and teammates Antonius Cleveland and Robert Franks all have NBA out clauses in their contracts with Adelaide, according to MacMahon.