Apparently, it's never too early for San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama to start thinking about life after basketball. Just 19 years old, the generational prospect whom multiple current NBA stars say will change the game, still has an entire career on the court in front of him.
But he's not ACTING like someone who's given no thought to another profession. Or is he?
When asked if he has a future as an actor, Victor Wembanyama didn't hesitate.
“Yes. Not maybe. Yes,” the French phenom answered, a big smile coming across his face as he completed his answer.
Wemby is set to appear in the locally fabledSpurs HEB commercials. For more than 15 years, the Spurs have teamed up with the giant regional grocery store chain on yearly spots so beloved they're anticipated every fall. Because the commercials most often feature the team's best players, there was little doubt the first overall pick in last June's draft would be included in this season's versions of the fan favorites.
It's a perfect day to look back at some of our all-time @HEB commercials 🎬🍿
Which is your favorite? pic.twitter.com/mii8nRoGv0
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) May 17, 2020
Wembanayama recently having been involved in the filming of these spots was one of a couple of topics discussed during a media session this week that went beyond basketball.
So far in his first season in the NBA, the top pick in the 2023 NBA Draft is averaging 19.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.7 blocks per game, while shooting 43.7 percent from the field.
“This was the biggest set up,” Victor Wembanyama said about being involved in the HEB shorts compared to other commercials he's done, “It's huge. Obviously, it's funny but it's also part of the culture.”
Designed to be humorous, the series of spots (there are about six or so every season) often feature the players in wide-ranging settings. In fact, Wemby singled out a commercial that highlighted a Kawhi Leonard rarity as his favorite of the HEB spots he's seen. In it, Leonard is joined by legends Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili, all of them dressed in tuxedos and using words that caused many watching to reach for a figurative Thesaurus. Near the end, the famously stoic and quiet Leonard, blurts out “indubitably,” within the context of a conversation.
As for what fans can expect to see Wemby doing or saying when this season's commercials are released, “You're going to find out soon,” he teased.
Victor Wembanyama loves reading
During that same session with local reporters and photographers, Wembanyama also discussed his lifelong love of reading. The 19-year-old rookie says fantasy books are his preferred genre and listed American Brandon Sanderson as his favorite author.
Teammate Julian Champagnie says there's always a book in Wemby's hands, especially on the team plane for road trips. Even within the demands of NBA life, Victor Wembanyama says continuing a passion that started when he was a boy comes naturally.
“I actually wondered how many books I've read in the last 12 months. Very early on, before elementary school is when I started reading. I liked books, basically, so I read a lot during elementary school. I'd say in middle school I read less and less and I started again in high school. It's just something I love to do. I do it every day. I don't have to think about doing it, I just want to do it.”
Many would describe his game similarly – long, effortless, and natural.