The Team USA Olympic team lost an exhibition match to Nigeria and received much criticism after the blow. However, fans can feel a bit better on Sunday after the U-19 team won over France to win the FIBA World Cup championship. Team USA won 83-81 and defeated France in a battle of heavyweights and a glimpse of the future of the NBA.
🚨 WORLD CHAMPS 🚨
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 11, 2021
Chet Holmgren– who is headed to Gonzaga– led the charge for Team USA and Victor Wembanyama led the way for France. Wembanyama has been heralded as the top pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, with some even saying he would have gone number one overall in THIS year’s draft.
An executive responded to this privately that Wenbanyama would be the number one pick in this year’s NBA Draft.
He turned 17 in January. He is expected to be eligible for the 2023 NBA Draft. https://t.co/h3kYFYXGpu
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) July 11, 2021
That is huge praise for the youngster, and watching him play you can absolutely see why he has that claim. He put up 22 points with eight boards and eight blocks before fouling out and had the tough task of guarding Holmgren, who is projected to go first overall in the 2022 NBA Draft. How often do you get to see two future top picks battling it out on the national stage?
Victor Wembanyama step-back J with the foul. Little off balance, but still has the clean release. pic.twitter.com/DCpAyId7je
— Aram Cannuscio (@AC__Hoops) July 11, 2021
Wembanyama hit a tough step-back with the defender all over him and had no issue whatsoever. Unreal. Unfortunately, his marvelous performance couldn’t net France the victory over Team USA.
There were other notable performances in the game, but the Holmgren-Wembanyama battle was the highlight and matchup everybody tuned in for.
USA beats France to win the gold medal at the U19 World Cup in Lativia. Nice performances down the stretch from Mike Miles, Jaden Ivey, and Kenneth Lofton Jr., who was featured in crunch time.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) July 11, 2021
Team USA U-19 squad will enjoy this, and Holmgren is headed to Gonzaga to refine his skills and make the case for the top pick in next year’s draft, with Wembanyama the likely top pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the future of the NBA.