Wembanyama to join France for WC qualifiers

by Gordon Dixon - Top NBA Draft prospect Victor Wembanyama will join France's national team next month for a pair of World Cup qualifying games.

Victor Wembanyama to join France for World Cup qualifiers 8:25 PM ET Associated Press PARIS -- Top NBA draft prospect Victor Wembanyama will join France's national team next month for a pair of World Cup qualifying games. The French federation made the announcement Friday. The 7-foot-3 Wembanyama is among 12 players selected for a road game at Lithuania on Nov. 11 and a home contest against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Nov. 14. Editor's Picks Wembanyama on LBJ praise: Goals still to reach 13h Myron Medcalf 1 Related If he plays, it would mark Wembanyama's debut with the French senior national team. He couldn't play in EuroBasket this summer because of injury recovery; France wound up falling to Spain in the gold-medal game of that event. France is trying to wrap up a berth in the 2023 World Cup, to be played in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. France is currently 6-2 in World Cup qualifying, well on its way to becoming one of the 12 teams from Europe that will clinch a spot in the 32-team tournament. The French national team's coach is Vincent Collet, who also coaches Wembanyama with the pro club Metropolitans 92. Metropolitans split a pair of games near Las Vegas this week against the G League Ignite, with Wembanyama -- the consensus frontrunner to be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft -- averaging 36.5 points in those matchups. The 18-year-old Wembanyama has played for France's national programs before, including the 2019 FIBA U16 European Championship and the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup -- falling to the U.S. 83-81 in the gold-medal game of that event.