Victor Wembanyama’s parents: His upbringing and ethnicity

Victor Wembanyama is widely considered to be 2023’s number-one NBA Draft pick. The hype around Victor has grown since 2020 and is currently at a fever pitch following his impressive performance for the Metropolitans 92 against the G League Ignite, an NBA developmental team. 

Though the Metropolitans lost the first game, Wembanyama scored 37 points. Victor led his team to victory in game 2, scoring 36 points and providing 4 assists. Wembanyama is considered the best prospect since Lebron James, who labeled the French teenager an ‘alien’ and a ‘generational talent.’

Victor’s parents, who prefer to avoid the spotlight, have played an instrumental role in his meteoric rise.

Victor’s dad was a track star, and his mom a basketball maestro

Victor Wembanyama was born in Le Chesnay, France, to Felix Wembanyama, a French citizen of Congolese descent, and Elodie de Fautereau. He grew up alongside an older sister, Eve, and a younger brother, Oscar. 

Wembanyama was born into a sports-loving family. His grandfather, Michel de Fautereau, was a 6’7” center for Paris University Club, a French first-division team, in the 60s. 

Felix was a track and field star specializing in long and high jumps who represented France in several competitions. “Dad gave me the passion for knowing subjects in depth,” Victor told Slam Online, “being a real technician of sports, of whatever I do.”

Elodie was a professional basketball player who became a youth development coach after retirement. “She’s more like me,” Victor said. “We really look alike, and she’s kind of eccentric sometimes.” Victor’s siblings are also basketball players. 

Victor’s mom taught him the basketball basics

Victor Wembanyama grew up playing football and basketball. Eventually, basketball became his main focus. Wembanyama said:

“I mean, I had the choice and I still have the choice to play or not play basketball, but basketball has always been around. I can’t avoid it in my family.”

Elodie coached Wembanyama, teaching him the basketball basics. She also coached Bouna Ndiaye’s son but never talked to the basketball agent about the talent Victor possessed. Bouna represents French national team members in the NBA, including Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier. 

“Even though I have known his parents for years – Elodie was coaching my son when he was 5 – they never talked to me about their son,” Bouna said. “That’s not who they are.”

Bouna dismissed calls by friends and fellow agents to watch Victor because he considered Wembanyama too young. “He was 14,” Bouna said. “Normally I don’t watch players when they are that young.” Eventually, Ndiaye gave in and watched Victor play. He told Andscape:

“So finally, I went. I called his mom and told her I was coming for fun. Not working. I’m coming as a friend. So, I went to watch. But when I saw him, I knew he was just special by the way he passed, dribbled. I saw him a few times after that and with the French U-16 team. He’s unlimited.”

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