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

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 7-foot, 4-inch, 20-year-old was a unanimous selection 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 pick for the honor in league history.

“My goal was always to help my team as best as I could and get better as the year went on and I knew in order to do this I had to be individually good on the court and dominant,” 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 center-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 reason as the first player in NBA history to score over 1,500 points (1,522), block at least 250 shots (254) and hit 100 3-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 Slovenia’s Luka Doncic in the 2018-19 season to win the award.

The Spurs missed the playoffs after finishing the regular season 22-60, which matched their record of the previous year.

The Spurs star is one of three players named as finalists for Defensive Player of the Year and could become the first rookie in NBA history to make 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.

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