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Victor Wembanyama Selected As The No. 1 Pick In NBA Draft By San Antonio Spurs

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(CTN NEWS) – In an NBA draft that is frequently a guessing game, Victor Wembanyama was the expected No. 1 pick for months.

But when the timer above the stage he was facing descended to zero, butterflies began to surface.

“Longest five minutes of my life,” Wembanyama remarked.

The San Antonio Spurs are certain the wait will be worthwhile because of him.

Wembanyama Dominated French League Final Season

On Thursday night, the Spurs signed the 19-year-old Frenchman who is expected to quickly become the newest phenomenon in basketball, prompting chants of “Wemby! Wemby” from a group of Spurs supporters holding signs from the front row of seats in Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre.

Wembanyama is taller and has more excitement than the majority of first-round picks.

He is listed at 7 feet 4 inches, and in his final season there, he dominated his French league, leading all players in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots.

He now enters the NBA draft as arguably the best prospect since LeBron James graduated from high school in 2003.

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Wembanyama, who has the size of a centre and the shooting and ball-handling skills of a guard, brings a set of abilities that seem ideal for the modern NBA draft and too extensive for one player.

He shed a few tears as he hugged his siblings and exited the stage while wearing his Spurs cap, and he later made fun of how quickly he received a white-and-black No. 1 jersey with his name already written on the back.

He said, “Someone knew this was happening in some way.

Almost everybody did.

For the brief time he was present, Wembanyama sat in the midst of the green room and was the centre of attention throughout the whole process.

When children yelled “Victor!” at him as he strolled around the arena, he grinned and even encouraged one of them toss a basketball his way, which he then autographed and threw back up into the seats.

Charlotte Hornets Was Selected With The No. 2 Pick

Brandon Miller, a freshman forward out of Alabama, was selected number two overall by the Charlotte Hornets.

The Portland Trail Blazers selected Scoot Henderson of the G League Ignite with the third overall pick. Henderson’s bling-filled blazer stood out sharply in comparison to Wembanyama’s basic green attire.

Wembanyama established himself as the top pick in this draftt during a two-game series between teams that included him and Henderson in Las Vegas in October by scoring 37 and 36 points in front of scouts and some potential rivals.

During the previous season, his highlights, such as a follow-up dunk on his own failed 3-point attempt, became must-watch material for basketball fans.

Wembanyama is the third No. 1 choice for the Spurs and the first since Tim Duncan in 1997, which resulted in a run of fiveNBA draft championships from 2014 until their recent struggles.

He broke a streak of 13 years in which a college freshman was selected first by becoming the first international player since Andrea Bargnani in 2006 to be selected first overall without having played any college basketball.

The last No. 1 who wasn’t a one-and-done was Blake Gryphon in 2010, when he was a sophomore.

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Wembanyama Became The First International Player Drafted No. 1

Prior to Miller passing him following his tremendous season for the Crimson Tide, Henderson was initially thought of as the likely No. 2 choice.

However, the 19-year-old thinks his two seasons in the NBA draft’s development league have better prepared him for success in the NBA draft.

“I’m the draft’s best-prepared player. I say that,” Henderson declared. “I learned so much from spending two years there, just by going there. A lot of stuff off the court, but also on the court.

The fourth and fifth picks in the draft made history.

Amen and Ausar Thompson of Overtime Elite, twins who were taken in the top 10 in the same draft with Amen going to the Houston Rockets and Ausar going to the Detroit Pistons, made history as the first brothers to do so.

It “means a lot to my family,” Amen Thompson said. Whoever went first, we would have been pleased. It means a lot to us to finish first and second, being the first twins to do so in the top five.

Orlando selected Arkansas’ Anthony Black in the sixth round, breaking a streak of three consecutive players who had not attended college.

But when Indiana chose Bilal Coulibaly, Wembanyama’s colleague with Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92, whose status rose in the postseason as the team reached the Pro A League championships, it was immediately back to the international levels.

Jarace Walker, a forward selected by Houston at No. 8, was obtained by the Pacers in exchange for Coulibaly’s rights from Washington.

The Dallas Mavericks selected Kentucky guard Cason Wallace with the No. 10 choice, and traded his rights to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who had selected big man Dereck Lively II from Duke.

The Nos. 10 and 12 picks were also exchanged.

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The Miami Heat, who lost in the NBA draft Finals, took UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. at No. 18

Prior to Jordan Hawkins of national champion UConn being selected by New Orleans to finish the lottery, Gradey Dick of Kansas, whose brilliant red blazer resembled Dorothy’s shoes from “The Wizard of Oz,” went to Toronto with the No. 13 choice.

The Utah Jazz selected all three of their picks, and there weren’t many trades made in the first round. They selected Ohio State’s Brice Sensabaugh at No. 28, UCF’s Taylor Hendricks at No. 9, and Keyonte George of Baylor at No. 16.

The first round’s biggest shock came when Villanova forward Cam Whitmore, who was expected to go in the top 10, was selected at number 20 by the Rockets.

Nick Smith Jr. of Arkansas, who was thought to be a lottery pick, arrived in Charlotte at position 27.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. of UCLA was selected by the Miami Heat, who lost in the NBA draft Finals, at position 18.

Amari Bailey of UCLA went to Charlotte at No. 41, Emoni Bates of Eastern Michigan went to Cleveland at No. 49, and Isaiah Wong of Miami went to Indiana at No. 55 in the second round.

Due to Chicago and Philadelphia forfeiting second-round picks for breaking league rules regarding the timing of their free agency negotiations, the draft was reduced to 58 picks.

RELATED CTN NEWS:

2023 NBA Draft: History, Date, How To Watch, Top Prospects & All 58 Picks

Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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