the exceptional destiny of a young basketball player

Basketball player Victor Wembanyama in “Un1que, Victor Wembanyama”, by Marc Sauvourel and David Tiago Ribeiro.


“Alien”, ” extraterrestrial “, “inhumane”…Whether it’s the NBA’s leading scorer, LeBron Jamesor the coach of the French basketball team, Vincent Collet, superlatives to describe Victor Wembanyama are sometimes lacking. It must be said that, at 19 years old, measuring 2.22 meters, wearing size 55 shoes and being the first Frenchman in history to be selected in first position in the “draft” – this vast “purse” for young players – has what to question.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers NBA Draft: Victor Wembanyama from every angle

The images captured over nearly a year by Marc Sauvourel and David Tiago Ribeiro, the directors ofUn1que, Victor Wembanyama – the Wembanyama clan wanted the documentary to be produced by a French team – recall that the world basketball UFO has only really been put in the spotlight since October 2022. During this period, he took part – with his Metropolitans 92 team from Boulogne-Levallois (Hauts-de-Seine) – on a promotional tour in Las Vegas (Nevada), where he played two matches against a team of the G-League, the NBA’s satellite development league. A marketing masterstroke from the player’s agents.

In this documentary that looks like a film – as the French prodigy’s journey seems to come from a Hollywood scenario – the viewer becomes aware of the considerable role of the Wembanyama family in Victor’s success. His mother, who has supported him since his first baskets at Chesnay (Yvelines), still does not hesitate to reframe him whenever she sees fit. “Just because people idolize you doesn’t mean you have to get a big head”, she said to her son when opening letters from her fans in the family home. Eve, her sister, cannot hold back her tears when talking about her ” little ” brother.

Beyond the parquet floors

The basketball player is grateful to his former coaches. He will invite them all for a large table before flying to the United States. Anecdotes about his best three points in youth teams will be heard throughout the evening.

Un1que also gives the opportunity to discover the athlete beyond the courts. “If I hadn’t been a basketball player, I would surely have made art, especially comics”, he says. Between training and an interview, he reads, draws, listens to music of all kinds. Marc Sauvourel and David Tiago Ribeiro were inspired by this in their creation: drawings illustrate the story of the basketball player and music – clical or hip-hop – combines with the images.

The “draft” of Thursday June 22 came to complete Victor Wembanyama’s year and, at the same time, the Canal+ documentary. This ceremony is the start of a career that promises to be exceptional. The Frenchman will make his first official steps in the NBA on Wednesday October 25, with the San Antonio Spurs, against the Dallas Mavericks.

Un1que, Victor Wembanyama, documentary by Marc Sauvourel and David Tiago Ribeiro (Fr., 2023, 100 min). Broadcast on Canal+ and available on demand on MyCanal.

Matthew Maine

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