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Victor Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs wins the NBA Rookie of the Year award

Tim Heitman/NBAE/Getty Images

Victor Wembanyama #1 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots a free throw during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 7 at the Frost Bank Center in San Antonio, Texas.



CNN

San Antonio Spurs big man Victor Wembanyama is the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, the first player from France to ever win the honor.

The 20-year-old was unanimously selected for the award, topping Chet Holmgren of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Brandon Miller of the Charlotte Hornets in the voting of 99 members of the media. He was the sixth unanimous choice for the honor in league history.

“My goal was always to help my team as much as I could and get better as the year progressed, and I knew that to do this I had to be good individually and dominant on the field,” said Wembanyama, the No. 1 pick. in the 2023 NBA draft. said. “It was a huge thing for me and a big thing to get.”

Wembanyama, a forward, averaged 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and led the league with 3.6 blocks per game in 71 games. He finished his rookie mark as the first player in NBA history to score more than 1,500 points (1,522), block at least 250 shots (254) and hit 100 three-pointers (128) in a single campaign.

Wembanyama’s points and rebounds per game are the highest for a rookie since Blake Griffin averaged 22.5 points and 12.1 rebounds during the 2010-11 season.

The Frenchman is the first international player since Slovenian Luka Doncic in the 2018/19 season to win the award.

The Spurs missed the playoffs after finishing the regular season 22–60, tying their record from the previous year.

The Spurs star is one of three players named a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year and could become the first rookie in NBA history to make the All-Defensive first team.

Wembanyama follows in the footsteps of San Antonio’s previous No. 1 draft picks, Hall of Fame big men David Robinson and Tim Duncan, who also received Rookie of the Year honors.

CNN’s Homero De la Fuente contributed to this report.