Even though the Metropolitans 92 were beaten 3-0 by AS Monaco in the final series of the French basketball championship, young sensation Victor Wembanyama is ready for the next chapter in his career. The 19-year-old is only a week away from attending the upcoming NBA Draft as the No. 1 projected pick that should take him to the San Antonio Spurs franchise.
“I feel like I’m closing part of my life, but for my loved ones too. It’s the end of one stage and the beginning of a new one. Everyone congratulated me for what I did this year and wished me good luck for the future. I’m prepared for the NBA, I have no worries”, Wembanyama told the press after losing the final.
Check out the player’s last 22 points scored in the final match for the Metropolitans 92 this week:
During a special interview after the game, Wembanyama talked about how it felt to hear the crowd chanting his name throughout the championship series.
“Yes, it is a memory that I will keep in mind. It makes me happy to give this opportunity to people to come and see a basketball game here in a unique place. It is a unique place,” the rising star said, as he even heard ‘Wemby, Wemby!’ being chanted during tennis competition Roland Garros.
By the end of the match, he regrets not reaching the title, but feels grateful for the experienced lived. “I didn’t think it was the last because I wanted to win, but in the end it was special… But I’m reassured at the same time because I’ll be playing matches again in France with the national team.”
When asked if he expected to perform such a solid season with the Metropolitans, he only regretted not taking the trophy home.
“In my dreams and my goals, I wanted to win the French championship,” he said. “There are still obstacles on the road but it is still an honor to have been able to look AS Monaco in the eye in two of the three matches. The Roca Team certainly finished third in the EuroLeague but for me, it is one of the 30 best teams in the world (NBA included). If I take stock of this season, I am proud of this young group, so united. We had ups and downs but we always knew how to bounce back.
“We worked, we got hurt. We arrived at a stage of the competition where we were not necessarily expected. When I look at my team and everything that’s happened, I’m just proud of my guys.”
Even though his team lost the chance of lifting the French trophy, Wembanyama takes a lot of positive things from this experience
Wembanyama knows this is just the start, and losing is part of any sport.
“I know there will be challenges in my future career in the NBA. And for me, they only serve to prove to us that we deserve to receive a reward in the end. Each trial serves to prove to me that I deserve to receive the reward in the end. Each defeat is more a lesson than anything else.
“Personally, and this is my main line of progress, I have to manage to stay intense for long minutes when the coach needs me“.
After playing for both ASVEL and Metropolitans in his young career, the 19-year-old reveals what areas of the game he feels he’s improved ever since he became a professional.
“For me, beyond the physical aspect, which I still have to work on at my age, I have to gain leadership and succeed in managing responsibilities,” the star shared. “I do not even know if in the French championship, a player had as many responsibilities as me with the Mets 92. This charge is what made me progress the most. Especially with a mentor like Vincent (Collet).”
Source: Basketball Insider