Rolling Out

MLK through the eyes of Black French NBA superstar Victor Wembanyama

20-year-old offers a different perspective

Every year across America, especially in Atlanta, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a special 24 hours. Around the country, people of all backgrounds celebrate the life and legacy of the most prominent civil rights figure in American history.

But what about Black people from other countries? After facing the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 15, San Antonio Spurs star rookie Victor Wembanyama was asked by Hall of Fame writer Marc Spears what he learned about King growing up in France.


“In English class, in France, we learned a little bit about him,” Wembanyama said. “We just learned a little bit about the United States and thinking about the history of the country and one of its biggest and most important figures. So yeah, I don’t know as much as an American student, but I know about him.”

While Wembanyama knew of King, he still didn’t have much knowledge about the King holiday and the significance of it in Atlanta.


“I didn’t know it was today until maybe yesterday,” he said. “So I was surprised how big and how important this figure is to everyone. In a group chat, you see some people saying, ‘Happy MLK Day.’ I didn’t know it was so important here.”

The 20-year-old finished the game with 26 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks in 27 minutes after getting off to a slow offensive start. The Hawks won 109-99.

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