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2023 NBA Draft: Spurs select Victor Wembanyama with No. 1 overall pick

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7-foot-4 French phenom becomes San Antonio’s third No. 1 overall pick in franchise history after David Robinson (1987) and Tim Duncan (1997)

NEW YORK — It’s official. Victor Wembanyama is heading to San Antonio and joining Hall of Fame head coach Gregg Popovich and the Spurs. The 7-foot-4 French phenom is the best prospect to hit the NBA since LeBron James 20 years ago. The Spurs have been planning for Wembanyama’s arrival since May 16 when it was revealed they would get the first pick in the 2023 NBA Draft for the third time in franchise history.

Wembanyama was poised and joyous throughout the week, but finally being selected No. 1 caused a slew of emotions.

“I can’t really describe it. It’s still fresh. One of the best feelings of my life. Probably the best night of my life. I’ve been dreaming about this for so long. It’s a dream come true. It’s incredible,” Wembanyama told reporters after being drafted.

Victor Wembanyama answers questions for the media upon arriving at Barclays Center before the NBA basketball draft Thursday, June 22, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The last two No. 1 picks the Spurs selected brought tremendous success to the organization. First, it was David Robinson in 1987 and then Tim Duncan 10 years later. All five of the franchise’s NBA championships were won with either Robinson or Duncan, with the duo winning two together. Both are Hall of Famers and were part of the league’s 75th anniversary team.

Wembanyama is the first No. 1 pick to ever come out of France and the first European player who didn’t play NCAA college basketball to be selected first overall since 2006 when the Toronto Raptors picked Andrea Bargnani out of Italy. Wembanyama follows a long list of talented French players who have played in the NBA, including current Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert, current Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes and former Spurs guard Tony Parker, who won four NBA titles.

Wembanyama led all players in the French LNB Pro A league in points (21.6), rebounds (10.4) and blocks (3.1) per game and was named the league MVP. His team, Metropolitans 92, made the LNB Pro A Finals where they were swept by Monaco just days before the NBA Draft.

Wembanyama said when he got the call from the Spurs’ front office informing him that he’d be selected No. 1, it was “very, very casual” then quipped about his new head coach, Gregg Popovich.

“He’s not intimidating yet, but I’m sure he’s going to get intimidating when I see him in real life,” Wembanyama said.

The Spurs big man also has a few things he’s looking forward to upon arriving in San Antonio.

“Breakfast tacos. I’ve heard a lot about breakfast taco,” he said. “I can’t wait to wear my first Spurs jersey. Yeah, I can’t wait. It’s the start of such a great adventure. You never know what’s going to happen, and this is what’s exciting. That’s it.”

Victor Wembanyama’s impressive résumé

Wembanyama has exceeded every expectation that has been put on him since he hit the scene at a young age. At just 14 years old, Wembanyama helped France’s JSF Nanterre U18 team become the French League runner-up, despite being three years younger than most of the players. Around this time, Wembanyama started to get noticed by other scouts around Europe. From there, he played for Parker’s professional squad, ASVEL Basket, before switching to the Metropolitans 92 this past season.

In two exhibition games in the Las Vegas area last October, Wembanyama averaged 36.5 points, 4.5 blocks and scored from all over the court against Scoot Henderson and the G League Ignite. He hit long, step-back 3s and grabbed impossibly high lobs for dunks in transition. In the first game, he had a season-high seven 3-pointers and added five blocks.

How Victor Wembanyama fits with the San Antonio Spurs

The young core of Keldon JohnsonDevin VassellTre Jones and Jeremy Sochan are all 23 years old or younger. Wembanyama will be able to grow alongside this group and has already played with Sochan at a camp when they were 12 and 14 years old.

“It was at Tony Parker’s gym in France,” Sochan told Yahoo Sports in February. “He wasn’t as big as he is now, but it’s exciting to see what he’s doing. I truly believe he’s going to live up to everything and it’s going to be exciting. He can add [to the Spurs] his energy, his versatility and the way he moves. He’s so smooth and he’s a one-of-one.”

During his last year in France, Wembanyama made every player around him better, no matter what the rotation was. He has the tools offensively to spread the floor and draw the double-team and the size to find the open teammate when the defense collapses. Johnson led the Spurs in points last season with 22 points per game and Wembanyama will join 6-foot-11 forward Zach Collins in the frontcourt, adding much-needed length and rim protection in the lane.

Battle of the bigs: Victor Wembanyama vs. Chet Holmgren

A budding rivalry is brewing between San Antonio and the Oklahoma City Thunder with 7-foot-2 Chet Holmgren returning to the court this upcoming season. Holmgren will be eligible for all rookie honors in the 2023-24 season after sitting out his first year with a foot injury.

The pair have already gone head-to-head during the FIBA U19 World Cup where Wembanyama recorded 22 points, eight rebounds and eight blocks but fouled out in the fourth quarter. Holmgren earned MVP tournament honors as Team USA beat France, 83-81. Holmgren finished with 10 points and five assists in the final game.

“I’m not going to give my scouting report on him since I’ll be playing him soon once he gets to the league,” Holmgren told Yahoo Sports before the 2022 NBA Draft. “He’s definitely talented and someone that’s going to be a problem once he hits the NBA.”

The Wembanyama era has officially begun and all eyes will be on him when he hits an NBA court for the first time in July during NBA Summer League.

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Senator Cory Booker Leads a Congressional Delegation to Nigeria

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Photo: Senator Cory Booker (In the back) and a Diplomat from the US Department of State, joins with members of the Academy for Women Alumnae Association including Mercy Ogori of Kokomi Africa and Adebisi Odeleye of Moore Organics.

Senator Cory also met women entrepreneurs from the Academy for Women Alumnae Association

Last week, US Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey led a congressional delegation to Nigeria, which included House of Representatives members Sara Jacobs and Barbara Lee from California. The purpose of the visit was to discuss a partnership on sustainable development. During the talks, Nigerian President Bola Tinubu expressed his administration’s dedication to strengthening democracy through upholding the rule of law and ensuring good governance, justice, and fairness for all citizens. Senator Booker emphasized the shared values of democracy, the rule of law, and commitment to peace and good governance that bind Nigeria and the United States as partners.

The delegation also met with women entrepreneurs from the Academy for Women Alumnae Association, who had participated in US-sponsored exchange programs. Led by Adebisi Odeleye of Moore Organics, the businesswomen shared their experiences and discussed their entrepreneurial endeavors. Other Academy members were Mandela Washington Fellow, Nkem Okocha of Mama Moni, Inemesit Dike of LegalX, and Mercy Ogori of Kokomi.

The partnership between the United States and Nigeria has lasted over six decades, focusing on addressing security challenges, enhancing health security, and responding to global health crises. Despite obstacles like corruption, poverty, and insecurity, the US remains dedicated to supporting Nigerian institutions and promoting free, fair, transparent, and peaceful elections.

During the visit to the State House, Senator Booker reiterated the shared values of democracy, the rule of law, and commitment to peace and good governance that unite Nigeria and the United States as partners.

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Breakforth Summit Houston 2024 “Worship & Healing Encounter” debuts in Houston

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In two weeks, citizens from across the city of Houston will spring into the new season with the official launching of a transformational faith-based praise, worship, and healing experience that guarantees to bring full restoration, excitement, and joy into the lives of many!

Pastors Dr. Andy Osakwe and Ndidi Osakwe (who recently arrived in the city to meet with fellow faith-based leaders) will host the inaugural Breakforth Summit Houston 2024 “Worship & Healing Encounter” (Presented by AOMI and Mission USA) on Sunday, April 7th at The Power Center’s ‘Community Collective for Houston’ (12401 South Post Oak). The on-site event will be located inside the Jesse H. Jones Ballroom and event doors will open promptly at 5 PM.

Join pastors Dr. Andy Osakwe and Ndidi Oaskwe as they host this transformative healing encounter infused with soul-lifting worship from gospel music’s finest, led by international gospel star recording artist Pastor Nathaniel Bassey, Lakewood Church worship leader, Pastor Fiona Mellett, popular Houston-based worship leader and Pastor Dr. Ronke Adekosan, and recording artist, social media faith influencer Minister Melissa Bethea.

The Sunday evening celebration will feature a variety of well-known and emerging faith leaders and musical performances that will usher the audiences through prayer declarations, reading of scripture, praise and worship sessions, laying of hands, deliverance, and testimonials. Over fifty faith-based practitioners worldwide will be present to help orchestrate an experience that will deeply transform the lives of many from within. The event will present an opportunity for individuals from all walks of life and faith to join together in an environment that will spread love, encouragement, and support for all of mankind. Complimentary child care is available for children between the ages of 4 and 10.

Additionally, the Breakforth Summit Houston 2024 “Worship & Healing Encounter” will serve as an official launch pad and countdown for Pastors Andy and Ndidi’s official Houston church and ministry planting in continuation of their successful global ministry work. It is the hope and desire of the pastors to support communities to overcome adversities faced in life regularly. Dr. Andy Osakwe is the founder and overseer of the Summit Bible Church and president of Andrew Osakwe Ministries International.

Ultimately, Dr. Andy’s hope and desire to establish a worship and healing experience speaks for itself. “It will be a phenomenal and highly impactful spiritual encounter that will result in restorative liberty and transformation, which will usher in a new season of fruitfulness and personal advancement for each person in attendance.”

For Press & Media Inquiries (832) 941-8952 evomahcomm@gmail.com

To learn more about the Breakforth Summit 2024 registration and volunteer opportunities, please visit the official event website online at  www.breakforthsummit.com/htx or to keep up with the latest updates from Dr. Andy and Ndidi Osakwe, please visit www.andrewosakweministries.org.

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Fani Willis Judge Rules that Trump Cannot Hire Co-Defendant – He’s Black

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Judge Scott McAfee, who is presiding over the sweeping election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his allies, is not allowing co-defendant Harrison Floyd to work for Trump’s 2024 campaign.

McAfee denied Floyd’s request to revise his bond agreement in a short order on Thursday. Floyd, who led Black Voices for Trump four years ago, asked the judge last month to loosen the conditions of his bond so that he could work on Trump’s presidential campaign and speak about Trump on social media. McAfee had said, at the time, that he’d be open to modifications so that Floyd could speak about current events.

Floyd, who was indicted on three felony counts stemming from his efforts to help Trump overturn his loss in Georgia, is currently prohibited from having contact with the witnesses and other co-defendants in the case. He was also banned from speaking about them on social media after he posted comments that some witnesses interpreted as threatening.

Floyd, a senior campaign staffer for Trump’s 2020 campaign, was indicted alongside the former president and 17 others for violating Georgia’s racketeering laws in August. Floyd was also charged with influencing a witness and conspiracy to commit solicitation of false statements. Trump and Floyd have both pleaded not guilty.

According to the indictment, Floyd allegedly harassed Fulton County election worker Ruby Freeman after she refused to change the results of the county’s vote in the 2020 election.

He was the only one of the 19 defendants in the case to spend time behind bars at the Fulton County Jail. Floyd, unlike the other defendants, turned himself in without a lawyer or bond agreement on August 24. He was not released until August 30 after his lawyer negotiated a $100,000 bond.

Floyd is also facing federal charges for allegedly assaulting two FBI agents who were sent to serve him with a grand jury subpoena.

In November, McAfee had rejected a call from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis‘ office to revoke Floyd’s bond and jail him, citing recent social media posts that prosecutors said “demonstrate that he poses a significant threat of intimidating witnesses.” McAfee found no intimidation in any of those posts but found a technical violation because Floyd tagged witnesses in the posts. As a result, he banned Floyd from making any posts about those involved in the Georgia case.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last month that Floyd attorney Christopher Kachouroff told McAfee his client wanted to resume his role as a paid Trump campaign operative, which would involve communications with the former president or other co-defendants in the case.

Kachouroff also said Floyd wanted to speak about his case over social media to help raise money for his legal defense. Many of the other co-defendants have started crowdsourcing donations for their legal fees.

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