Spurs: Wembanyama confirms he will play for France at Olympics next summer


Victor Wembanyama passed up the opportunity to suit up for France at the FIBA World Cup earlier this month to prepare for his rookie season with the San Antonio Spurs. But the towering teenager reconfirmed his commitment to represent his national team at the Paris Olympics next summer in a recent interview with French media, and he has his sights set on helping his country reach the top of the podium.

"Performing well at the Olympics would be a great story. I'll be present at the Olympics, and there's no other goal than gold."

Victor Wembanyama

Despite entering the FIBA World Cup as one of the favorites to win the tournament, Les Bleus fell well short of expectations, losing to Canada and Latvia in their first two games of the group stage and failing to make it to the winning bracket or the knockout rounds. This disappointing finish was a massive shock after France took home a Silver Medal at the Tokyo Olympics in a close contest with the United States.

Wembanyama made his senior team debut in a win over Lithuania at the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers last November, and he carried France to a 4-0 record while averaging 19.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game on 45.6% shooting from the field. His absence this summer was apparent as Head Coach Vincent Collet struggled to get the offense off the ground with Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert running the show.

France received automatic admission into the Summer Games as the host nation, and homecourt advantage offers them a golden chance to redeem their reputation on the international scene. Adding Wemby should elevate their efficiency on both ends. And with rumors of Joel Embiid joining their roster, the French could be well on their way to assembling a powerhouse program capable of leveling anyone standing in their path.