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SAN ANTONIO — As Victor Wembanyama has settled into San Antonio in the weeks since being drafted No. 1 overall in the 2023 NBA draft, he’s finally had a chance to get on the basketball court in the last two days.

The San Antonio Spurs began summer league practices on Thursday allowing Wembanyama to make his presence felt on the court.

“It’s been great,” Wembanyama said on Friday afternoon. “Unfortunately, I had a lot off the court too. But I’m glad this is over now and I can focus on basketball per se.”

With two practices down, the Spurs now travel to Sacramento for the California Classic summer league but Wembanyama won’t be going. He will, however, participate in the Las Vegas summer league starting on July 7 when the Spurs open up against the Charlotte Hornets.

“I’m going to play at least one or two games,” Wembanyama said about his expectations for summer league. “I don’t know how it works yet. How many minutes I’m going to play. But I know I’m going to have a big role and it’s going to be intense. I can’t wait to wear that Spurs jersey for the first time.”

Wembanyama said he would have liked to played in Sacramento, especially because the team is set to play the Los Angeles Lakers, but understands there are sacrifices he has to make early on since he’s coming off of playing a full season with Metropolitans 92 in the French League.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has been around the facility the last couple days so Wembanyama has gotten his first taste of what his future head coach will be like. But he hasn’t been what Wembanyama expected.

“I thought I would experience the yelling a bit earlier,” Wembanyama said, “but I haven’t yet. I’m ready.”

Spurs assistant Matt Nielsen is taking over for the summer league so Wembanyama may not get the full Popovich experience until training camp begins. But one thing Wembanyama is working on is preparing himself for a full season of work.

“I feel like to be able to play through an 82-game season, I got to go through a lot of conditioning and level up on the energy level,” Wembanyama said.

Part of being ready for that 82-game season came down to him declining to play for France in the upcoming FIBA World Cup after what amounted to playing 62 games for Mets 92. The World Cup kicks off in late August and goes on until September 10.

“Going more than two years without a rest is too big of a risk,” Wembanyama said. “It’s really big events coming up like the Olympics that I don’t want to miss. So to be available for the national team for the next, I don’t know how many other years, I felt like I needed to miss this one.

“It was really hard [to make that decision]. For me, my career is going to be as much with the franchise as it will be with the national team. There are titles to win with both. Missing the national team is just like missing the season with the Spurs. It’s kind of crazy.”

For now, Wembanyama can focus on the summer league role he will have while getting to spend time with his new teammates.

“I had a warm welcome with the guys,” Wembanyama said. “I just can’t wait. I was told beforehand that there was a good dynamic with the team on and off the court. I started to feel it already. It just makes me more certain that this is a good environment.”

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Victor Wembanyama’s focus on basketball ahead of Summer League debut