Victor Wembanyama a big hit in the first training session

Blake Wesley focused on the boat-sized shoes. For Malachi Branham, it was the tennis racket-like hands.

It was all about first impressions Thursday at the Spurs summer league team’s opening day of practice, and 7-foot-3 No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama did not disappoint.

“My first thing was his feet,” said Wesley, a sophomore guard. “I was like, oh, my God. I’ve never seen feet like that. Like, wow, (he’s) tall, lanky, long.”

A good handshake from one of the most hyped draft picks in league history left Branham in awe.

“He’s got long fingers, that’s probably what stood out to me,” said Branham, also a sophomore guard.

In Wembanyama’s first practice with the Spurs, there were hints that he had some moments that might have gone viral had the session been open to the media, but there were also indications that, like any first-year player, he has plenty to learn about the NBA.

“He’s learning the Spurs stuff, too,” said Spurs assistant coach Matt Nielsen, who will coach the summer league squad in Sacramento next week and later in Las Vegas. “Obviously he’s a good basketball player and all, but there’s a lot for him to learn in that area.”

Wembanyama will meet with reporters after Friday’s practice, the last before the team heads to Sacramento on Saturday for games on Monday and Wednesday. The 19-year-old phenom will not be with the team in California due to the need for him to rest after a long, grueling season with his French pro team, but he is set to join them on July 6 in Las Vegas.

The Spurs haven’t officially announced when he’ll make his Vegas debut, but there are signs it could happen sooner rather than later. The club’s first game will be against No. 2 overall selection Brandon Miller and the Charlotte Hornets at 8 p.m. on July 7 at the Thomas & Mack Center before facing the Portland Trail Blazers and No. 3 overall pick Scoot Henderson on July 9.

The first contest will be televised by ESPN. The other will be carried by ESPN2.

“We’re excited for him to play in Vegas,” Wesley said of Wembanyama.

One thing is for sure, the third overall No. 1 in Spurs history behind David Robinson and Tim Duncan will continue to get to know his new teammates and coaches at the Spurs practice facility.

“He dives into it all. … He’s really locked into getting better and learning,” Nielsen said.

And in a mature way.

“He seems like he cares about the team first and himself second,” Branham said. “We did a lot of scripts and stuff and he’s a quick learner.”

Nielsen said: “He’s smart, no doubt about it, much smarter than I was when I was 19 years old, but it’s not difficult. He’s a good boy.”

In addition to building chemistry with his new teammates, Wembanyama was on the court for the first time with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who roamed the facility and even playfully snuck up behind Nielsen to take a few photos on his phone of the freshman. summer league coach and native of Australia.

“There will be many voices,” for Wembanyama to learn from, “and the most important one is Pop,” Nielsen said.

Wembanyama may also benefit from being around sophomore forward Jeremy Sochan, who participated in Thursday’s practice, though he won’t be on the summer league roster at any point.

“It was great to have everyone out on the field and Victor did a great job,” Nielsen said.

While all eyes will be on Wembanyama in Sacramento and Las Vegas, Nielsen and his assistants will also focus on the continued development of Branham and Wesley, now both 20 after joining the Spurs as late first-round, one-and – finished teenagers last year.

“They’re hungry and they want to get better,” Nielsen said. “And you can say all that, but the actions of the Blakes, Malachis, Jeremys (prove it). They’ve been in here doing reps the whole time.”

But for now it’s all about Wembanyama, with his huge feet, hands and potential.

Graham enters plea in DWI case

Spurs guard Devonte’ Graham has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving while impaired stemming from a July 2022 arrest in Raleigh, NC

A spokesperson for the Wake County District Attorney’s Office told TMZ Sports that Graham entered the plea during a court hearing Tuesday after striking a deal with prosecutors.

TMZ Sports reported that a speeding charge against Graham, 28, has been dismissed. A sentencing is scheduled for next month.

Graham, who was a member of the New Orleans Pelicans at the time, was pulled over for speeding around 1 p.m. 3. Breath tests showed he had a blood alcohol level of 0.11, TMZ Sports reported, above the legal limit of 0.08.

Graham averaged 13.0 points per game. game over 20 appearances after the Spurs acquired him in a Feb. 9 trade with the Pelicans.

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