Victor Wembanyama Becomes First French Player To Be Named NBA Rookie Of The Year

San Antonio Spurs first-year player Victor Wembanyama was named this season’s NBA Rookie of the Year.

The NBA announced that Wemby was a unanimous choice to receive the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy as the 2023-24 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year. In a landslide vote, every person on the media panel gave the Spurs rookie a first-place vote, totaling 99 entries to make him the first unanimous Rookie of the Year recipient since Karl-Anthony Towns won the honor in the 2015-16 season.

Wemby is the third Spurs player to take home the award (after David Robinson and Tim Duncan) and the first player from France.

This season, Wembanyama also became the first player to average at least 20 points (21.4), ten rebounds (10.6), and three blocks (3.6) in less than 30 minutes per game in a season. Adding to his phenomenal season, he is also the first player to have at least 1,500 points, 700 rebounds, 250 assists, 250 blocks, and 100 3-pointers in a season.

He became the second rookie to lead the league in blocks per game since Manute Bol did it during his rookie season in 1985-86. The two players are also the only two rookies to lead the league in total blocks in a season since the NBA started recording blocks in the 1973-74 season.

CBS Sports reported that Wemby is the second straight No. 1 overall NBA draft pick to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award after Paolo Banchero took it home in 2023. In the last seven years, a top-five NBA draft pick has been awarded the coveted prize. Wemby, Banchero, Scottie Barnes, LaMelo Ball, Ja Morant, Luka Doncic, and Ben Simmons were all drafted in the top five.

Unfortunately, although Wemby had a great year, the Spurs didn’t; the team had a dismal 22-60 record, not even coming close to making the playoffs.

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