NBA’s tallest player meets NHL’s youngest star

Wembanyama

On Thursday, December 21, 2023, the United Center in Chicago witnessed a rare encounter between two No. 1 overall draft picks from different sports. Victor Wembanyama, the 7-foot-5 French sensation who was selected first by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2023 NBA draft, met Connor Bedard, the 16-year-old Canadian phenom who was picked first by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2023 NHL draft.

The two young stars posed for photos and exchanged jerseys before the Blackhawks’ game against the Los Angeles Kings. The stark height difference between the two was evident, as Wembanyama towered over Bedard by more than two feet. Wembanyama also got to meet some of the Blackhawks’ players, including captain Jonathan Toews and veteran Patrick Kane.

Wembanyama, who is the tallest player in NBA history, said he was impressed by Bedard’s skills and maturity. “He’s amazing. He’s so young and so talented. He’s already playing in the NHL at 16. That’s incredible. He’s very mature and humble. I respect him a lot,” Wembanyama said.

Bedard, who is the youngest player in NHL history, said he was honored to meet Wembanyama and learn from him. “He’s awesome. He’s a great guy and a great player. He’s the No. 1 pick in the NBA. That’s huge. He’s very nice and friendly. He gave me some advice and tips. I appreciate him a lot,” Bedard said.

Wembanyama

A historic season for both rookies

Wembanyama and Bedard are both having historic seasons in their respective leagues. Wembanyama, who turned 19 in October, is averaging 18.7 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 4.6 blocks per game for the Spurs, who are leading the Western Conference with a 24-6 record. Wembanyama is the frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year award and a candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year award. He is also drawing comparisons to some of the NBA’s greatest big men, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Tim Duncan.

Bedard, who turned 16 in July, is averaging 15.3 points, 8.7 assists, and 3.2 steals per game for the Blackhawks, who are second in the Central Division with a 20-10-4 record. Bedard is the favorite for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie and a contender for the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player. He is also breaking records and making history as the youngest player to score a goal, record a hat trick, and register a five-point game in the NHL.

A bright future for both sports

The meeting between Wembanyama and Bedard was not only a rare occasion but also a sign of the bright future for both the NBA and the NHL. Both leagues are witnessing the emergence of new stars and talents who are bringing excitement and innovation to their sports. Wembanyama and Bedard are leading the way for their generations, inspiring fans and peers alike with their skills and personalities.

Both players said they hope to see each other again and follow each other’s careers. “I’m a fan of his. I watch his games and highlights. He’s amazing. I hope to see him again and maybe play with him someday,” Wembanyama said. “I’m a fan of his too. I follow his stats and news. He’s awesome. I hope to see him again and maybe watch him play live someday,” Bedard said.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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