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Victor Wembanyama to skip FIBA to focus on Rookie season

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Victor Wembanyama to miss 2023 FIBA World Cup
Victor Wambanyama will not be in the France team in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. | PHOTO: ESPN |
  • NBA Draft No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama skips FIBA World Cup for Spurs and Olympics
  • His French team is disappointed as Wembanyama’s decision hampers their world title hopes
  • NBA stars are affected by schedule changes while playing for national teams

Victor Wembanyama, the NBA No. 1 draft pick, has made the decision to skip playing for France in the upcoming FIBA World Cup. Instead, he will focus on preparing for his rookie season with the San Antonio Spurs and the Paris Olympics next year. This is a departure from Wembanyama’s previous plans for the summer and comes as a setback for the French national team, who had high hopes of contending for the world title.

While Wembanyama will not represent France in the World Cup, he still intends to participate in some of the Spurs’ summer league games in July. In explaining his decision to the French newspaper L’Equipe, Wembanyama cited the need for realistic development and prudent health considerations. He expressed his frustration and emphasized that playing for the France team remains important to him, as he aims to win as many titles as possible with the national squad. However, he believes that sacrificing his participation in the World Cup is necessary.

FIBA World Cup: Victor Wembanyama to miss

San Antonio Spurs NBA No.1 draft pick plays for the France national basketball team at the international stage. The rookie is set to miss the FIBA World Cup. | PHOTO: ESPN |

READ: Spurs’ Victor Wembanyama greeted with cheers in San Antonio

Wembanyama revealed that the Spurs were supportive of whatever decision he made and that he arrived at this choice after consulting with his personal medical staff. The volume of games he would be playing over a two-year period factored into his decision. Taking into account his current season with Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92, his upcoming season with the Spurs, and his plans for the Olympics, Wembanyama estimated that he would be playing approximately 170 games within a 24-month span, making the World Cup an excessive commitment.

The scheduling change made by international basketball officials in 2019, separating the FIBA World Cup from the FIFA World Cup, led to the event being held in consecutive summers alongside the Olympics. This alteration has had a significant impact not only on American stars representing Team USA but also on NBA players competing for their respective national teams, including Wembanyama.

Another team affected by this schedule is Team Serbia, who are also vying for the World Cup title this summer. They are currently awaiting a decision from Nikola Jokic, a national hero, who recently completed a deep playoff run with the Denver Nuggets en route to an NBA championship.

As Wembanyama sets his sights on his rookie season and future Olympic participation, his absence from the French national team in the World Cup will undoubtedly be felt. However, his decision reflects careful consideration of his long-term development and well-being as he embarks on his professional basketball journey.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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