PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – Victor Wembanyama has a lot riding on his shoulders, and it’s more than just trying to become the best player in the NBA and the next legend to play for the San Antonio Spurs.
He’s supposed to be the next great professional basketball player to come out of France, following in the footsteps of Tony Parker, Rudy Gobert and Nicolas Batum, among a handful of others. Luckily for the 7-foot-4 former Metropolitans 92 star, he’s had an easier time transitioning to the NBA thanks to his close relationship with Parker.
The Basketball Hall of Famer worked with Wembanyama and his family before he got a taste of pro basketball in the U.S.
“I think it’s great. I think it’s great for French basketball,” Parker told Fox News Digital when asked about Wembanyama carrying the legacy of the sport for the French in the U.S.
“I have a special relationship with that family because his sister went to my academy. Victor came to my team as well; we won a championship together. His little brother’s still in my academy. It’s been great to be rooting for his family and try to be successful in the NBA.”
Wembanyama was the No. 1 pick of the Spurs over the summer and has quickly emerged as one of the best rookies in his class.
He’s averaging 18.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game in 21 games. He’s shooting 43.1% from the field.
“For him personally, he’s having a great season,” Parker added. “He’s playing very good. Team wise? A little bit harder. But you have to be patient. They have a young team, and it’s going to take some time. But him, personally, he’s learning the league. He’s learning everything, but so far, he’s been having a good season.”
Parker spoke to Fox News Digital at Atlantis Bahamas during the World Series of Poker Paradise.
He said he thinks the Bahamas could emerge as a top sporting destination in the future.
“I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “The weather is nice and everybody loves and enjoys coming to the island. I think it’s a great choice to push for this and having all these sporting events.”