No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick Victor Wembanyama has voiced his commitment to play in the 2024 Paris Olympics for his home country of France. This should come as no surprise, given he’s expressed interest in representing France before, but he reiterated that commitment again on Tuesday while speaking to French media.
“Succeeding in the Olympics would be a great story, and there will be no goal other than gold,” Wembanyama told French newspaper L’Equipe. “Of course, I will be present at the Olympics.”
The French national team receives an automatic bid into the 2024 Olympics as the host country, which is a good thing considering how poorly the team played during the FIBA World Cup last month. Wembanyama decided to skip the World Cup tournament in order to prepare for his rookie season in the NBA, but France could’ve desperately used him after finishing 18th in the tournament. France failed to make it out of the first round of group play, going just 1-2 in their three games. And despite Wembanyama not competing with his countrymen, he still watched the tournament.
“I watched the FIBA World Cup, and the result was very disappointing,” Wembanyama said. “However, I am not worried. I have no judgment to make; I was not on the team, and it is in the hands of top-level players. I feel that this does not alter the opportunity to do something big in Paris next year.”
Adding Wembanyama to a French roster that will also likely include three-time Defensive Player of the Year big man Rudy Gobert, as well as other NBA players in Nicolas Batum and Evan Fournier will make them a dangerous team next summer. While the World Cup showing was a disappointing effort, France did win a silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, falling to Team USA in the gold medal game.
There’s also the possibility that France could add reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid if he decides to suit up for The Blues over Team USA. With or without Embiid though. Wembanyama alone could make them a contender to win gold on their home floor in Paris next summer.