by Tim Reynolds
Victor Wimpanyama arrived in the United States to participate in the NBA draft.
The plane from France carrying Wimpanyama — who will almost certainly be taken by the San Antonio Spurs with the No. 1 pick in Thursday’s draft — arrived at Newark International Airport outside New York on Monday.
And before he became an NBA star, he had his first official glimpse of stardom in the NBA.
Some fans knew what flight he was on and when the plane landed, and many were waiting. Wimpanyama happily signed autographs, writing his name on Spurs basketballs and T-shirts—some even had his name on them—before heading to a waiting car.
“I don’t know how they knew what flight I was on, but it’s fun,” Wimpanyama said in a video posted on the NBA’s social media As he walked through an airport in New Jersey, he lowered his head to avoid some signs installed on the roof of the building. “It is different to see that you can have such an impact on people.”
It’s the start of a tumultuous few days for the 19-year-old French phenom who has long been seen as part of a new generation the likes of which haven’t been seen since LeBron James entered the league in 2003. Wimpanyama is expected to appear in media availability ahead of Wednesday’s draft, and then The actual draft is on Thursday. He’ll probably be in San Antonio on Friday.
The rest of his summer won’t be slow either.
Wembanyama has already been announced as one of the expected attendees at the first NBA Con in Las Vegas that coincides with the start of the summer league there July 7-9, and has said he wants to play for France at FIBA World. cup. It will take place in the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan from late August until September 10th.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA And https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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