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Victor Wembanyama Will Not Participate in 2023 FIBA World Cup

The Spurs first overall selection will focus on his rookie season

2023 NBA Draft Pick Portraits and Press Conferences Photos by Katie Dixon/NBAE via Getty Images

In an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe, San Antonio’s first overall selection in the NBA Draft, Victor Wembanyama, announced he will be skipping the 2023 FIBA World Cup this summer. It was previously rumored that Wembanyama would be a limited participant in Summer League and play for the French national team in late August.

“It would not be realistic in terms of development and not prudent in terms of health,” Wembanyama told L’Equipe. “I hope people will understand. It’s frustrating for me, too. The France team is still central for me. I want to win as many titles as possible with the team. But I think it’s a necessary sacrifice.”

This comes after both Gregg Popovich and Wembanyama told the press that he would be joining the summer league team in some capacity. The NBA 2K24 Summer League ends on July 17th, which would give Wemby a little over a month of a break before starting games with the French team. The FIBA World Cup runs until September 10th. If France were to medal, that would leave him with mere weeks until he would need to report to training camp in late September.

It has been quite the packed summer for a 19-year-old rookie. Wembanyama also played 62 games for Metropolitans 92 and lost the finals on June 15th before reporting for the draft just a week later. According to ESPN, he calculated that over the course of this year and next, he would have played in 170 games if he decided to play for France.

The next chance Spurs fans will get to potentially see Wembanyama in action is July 3rd at the California Classic in Sacramento, California. The Spurs will play two games in Sacramento, against the Hornets on the 3rd and Lakers on the 5th. Then, it’s on to Vegas where they are guaranteed four games from July 7th to July 14th. Expect the team to announce the roster in the coming days, which should include Wembanyama.