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The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

No. 1 Pick in NBA Draft Lives Up To Expectations

Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA draft, Victor Wembanyama was unanimously voted Rookie of the Year for the 2023-2024 season on May 5.

The San Antonio Spurs won the draft lottery on May 16 of 2023, leaving a month until they were able to draft Wembanyama on June 22. The 7’4” power forward/center started off his NBA career in Oct. 2023 with 15 points in his first game. Now at the end of their season, he averages 21.4 points per game. In total, he ended up with 1,522 points and 128 3-pointers.

He is not only skilled in offense. Along with Rookie of the Year, Wembanyama is one of the three finalists up for Defensive Player of the Year. He ended the season with 250 blocks and an average of 4.5 blocks per game.

Wembanyama’s stats this season have him at the same level as Shaquille O’Neal in the 1999-2000 season. Both averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and three assists per game. He also achieved two triple-doubles (when a player earns double digits in three of the five categories of assists, blocks, points, rebounds and steals in a game). He even set his own precedent as the first player in the league’s history to achieve 250 blocks and 100 3-pointers all in one season.

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With the Rookie award confirming the league’s expectations for him, Wembanyama is focusing on winning as well as his individual achievements for the upcoming season.

“Those individual awards tell a lot about the path a player takes throughout his career to get to those heights,” Wembanyama said to ESPN. “They are important to me and I’m dedicated to winning some.”

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Alyssa Perera
Alyssa Perera, Reporter
Hi, I'm Alyssa! This is my second year on newspaper staff. I love baking, reading and watching TV. I'm really looking forward to this year!
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