G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson day-to-day with concussion

Henderson suffered a nose fracture and was placed into the concussion protocol.

NBA G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson suffered a nose fracture and is considered day to day, team spokeswoman Mara Rudolph said.

Henderson suffered the injury in the first half on Nov. 18 versus the Salt Lake City Stars. He logged just nine minutes of work in the victory and did not return in the second half.

He recorded six points and four rebounds prior to the injury.

The 18-year-old was placed into the concussion protocol and has missed the last four games with the Ignite. He is progressing in his recovery and could be cleared to play when the Ignite host the South Bay Lakers on Sunday at The Dollar Loan Center (9 p.m. EST, ESPN 2).

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Henderson is projected to be the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft next year behind French center Victor Wembanyama. He has been electric on the court this season and is highly touted for his ability to score from virtually all over the court.

He is averaging 21.2 points, 5.8 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals on 47.1% shooting from 3-point range in six games. He is 22nd in the G League in scoring and has produced four 25-point games. He even dished out a season-high 16 assists on Nov. 12 versus Santa Cruz.

The Ignite are set to play a full, 50-game schedule for the first time this season, giving scouts and executives plenty of opportunities to watch Henderson in action. It appears as though he will be back on the court sooner than later.

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Ignite guard Scoot Henderson: ‘If I keep working, I could be one of the best’

Henderson continued a strong start with the Ignite with his fourth 20-point game of the season in a win over the OKC Blue.

Projected No. 2 pick Scoot Henderson continued a strong start with the NBA G League Ignite on Wednesday with his fourth 20-point game of the season in a win over the OKC Blue.

Henderson produced a season-high 27 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals in the 110-95 victory. He went 12-of-20 from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, in 32 minutes of work as the Ignite improved to 2-4 on the season.

The 18-year-old scored 16 points alone in the fourth quarter to help the Ignite overcome a 10-point deficit and outscore the Blue by 20 points in the period. He made all seven of his shot attempts in the final frame.

Henderson explained his mindset throughout the contest.

First half was just focusing on defense, trying to get stops. Shots weren’t falling so I was trying to do my best to try to get the shots falling for the team and try to get some assists, try to get some rebounds, do whatever I can. Whatever I can do to get us in the game.

He once again showed why he is so highly touted in the contest. He was electric at times getting into the paint and either finishing at the rim or kicking it out to an open teammate. He also went to work often in the mid-range and had his 3-ball falling.

Henderson has scored at least 25 points four times this season and even dished out a season-high 16 assists on Nov. 12 versus the Santa Cruz Warriors. He has proven that he can impact games in a variety of ways, something that will likely continue all season long.

He described his game after facing the Blue.

High motor. I feel like I can play both sides of the ball. Obviously, I’m not perfect but I feel like I’m a great player and if I keep working, I could be one of the best.

With the Ignite set to play a full, 50-game schedule for the first time this season, scouts and executives will have plenty of opportunities to watch Henderson in action. He is certainly worth tuning in to watch given his overall skill set.

The Ignite return to action on Friday versus Salt Lake City.

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Victor Wembanyama helps France claim FIBA World Cup berth with 19-point effort

Wembanyama averaged 19.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in two FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifying games with France.

Projected No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama neared 20 points on Monday to lead the French national team to a win and a berth in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Wembanyama produced a team-high 19 points, four rebounds, two steals, two blocks and one assist in 24 minutes of work in the 92-56 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina. He went 7-of-15 from the field, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range.

The 7-foot-4 center was active on both ends of the court and was dominant in the paint. He used his size and skill to outwork the opposition and connected with his teammates on a few lobs. He even hit a one-legged 3-pointer early in the game.

The outing was the second for Wembanyama with France. He debuted with the senior team on Friday in a win over Lithuania, recording 20 points, nine rebounds, one assist and one steal. France won both games in the fifth qualifying window to improve to 8-2.

France, along with Lithuania (8-2), will advance to the FIBA Basketball World Cup from Group K. The top three teams from each group earn tickets to the tournament. Montenegro (6-4), Bosnia and Herzegovina (5-5) and Hungary (5-5) remain in contention for the final berth.

The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup will run from Aug. 25-Sept. 10.

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Victor Wembanyama nears double-double in French national team debut

Wembanyama neared a double-double in his debut with the French national team in a FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifying game.

Projected No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama neared a double-double in his debut with the French national team on Friday in a qualifier for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Wembanyama produced 20 points, nine rebounds, one assist and one steal as France improved to 7-2 in the qualifiers with a 90-65 win over Lithuania. He shot 6-of-13 from the field and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line in 23 minutes of action.

The 7-foot-4 center proved to be dominant in the paint as Lithuania had no answer for him. He had several putbacks after hauling in four offensive rebounds and even connected on a 3-pointer in the second half as France coasted to the win.

Wembanyama, 18, was set to debut with France over the summer in EuroBasket but was eventually ruled out of playing due to what the team labeled as a muscle injury. He now figures to be in France’s long-term plans in international competition.

With the win, France moved into first place in Group K over Lithuania, who is also 7-2. The top three teams will advance from each group as France will face Bosnia and Herzegovina next on Monday to close out the fifth window of qualifying. The final window will take place Feb. 20-28.

The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup will run from Aug. 25-Sept. 10.

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Victor Wembanyama dominates, Scoot Henderson injured early in rematch

Wembanyama put up another 30-point effort, while Henderson left early due to an injury in the rematch of the likely top two picks next year.

With plenty of buzz surrounding Victor Wembanyama after a dazzling performance, the presumed No. 1 pick in 2023 picked up where he left off with another 30-point effort on Thursday to lead Metropolitans 92 to a win over the NBA G League Ignite.

Wembanyama produced a game-high 36 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots in the 112-106 win. He went 11-of-24 from the field, including 2-of-7 from 3-point range, in 37 minutes of action as the French team wraps up its stay in the United States.

The effort followed a 37-point performance on Tuesday in a duel against projected No. 2 pick Scoot Henderson. The rematch lost much of its draw early when Henderson suffered a knee bone bruise four minutes into the game and did not return.

Henderson is considered day-to-day with the injury.

Wembanyama wrapped up his trip to the U.S. leaving little doubt about who the No. 1 pick should be next year. He is viewed as such a lock to be the top pick that some executives reportedly suggested that Wembanyama should sit out this season to avoid injury.

He pushed back on that notion and suggested he still has plenty of room to grow. The thought that Wembanyama can still improve is likely a scary one for the 29 teams that don’t end up with him next year, and music to the ears of the team that does get him.

The 18-year-old earned high praise from LeBron James, who called him “an alien” and a “generational talent” on Wednesday. He humbly accepted those words from the future Hall of Famer, but understands he hasn’t accomplished anything yet.

Wembanyama returns to France to continue his season with even higher expectations of him, but the basketball community will be eager to watch him over the next several months.

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LeBron James praises Victor Wembanyama: ‘He is more like an alien’

Wembanyama has earned quite a bit of praise from the collective basketball world, including LeBron James.

Potential No. 1 pick in 2023 Victor Wembanyama dazzled on the court on Tuesday and earned quite a bit of praise from the basketball world, including LeBron James.

Wembanyama of Metropolitans 92 produced a game-high 37 points, five blocked shots and four rebounds versus Scoot Henderson and the NBA G League Ignite. He went 7-of-11 from 3-point range in 32 minutes of work in the loss.

The 7-foot-4 center shined on offense, from hitting stepback 3s to flashing his footwork in the post and running as the point guard. On the other end, Wembanyama put his 8-foot wingspan to work and altered plenty of shots from the competition.

James was among those that were impressed by his performance.

Everybody has been a unicorn over the last few years, but he’s more like an alien. No one has ever seen anyone as tall as he is but as fluid and as graceful as he is out on the floor. At (his size), his ability to put the ball on the floor, shoot stepback jumpers out of the post, stepback 3s, catch-and-shoot 3s and block shots. He’s for sure a generational talent. Hopefully, he continues to stay healthy. You can tell he loves the game. He was smiling a lot.

The display by Wembanyama further demonstrated the lengths some teams may go to in order to have the opportunity to draft him next year. Some team executives reportedly believe he should sit out for the rest of the year as he is believed to already be a lock as the top pick.

He is considered to be perhaps the top draft prospect since James.

Wembanyama is drawing monstrous expectations given his talent and size, and it is something that is heightened each time he steps onto the court. James once dealt with the same hype, but not in the social media era. It is something he is thankful for.

I just thank God I didn’t have social media. That’s all I can say. I can’t imagine how my life would have been different or what would have transpired with me with social media but I’m happy I didn’t have social media and I’m happy I was from a small town of Akron, Ohio. It definitely kept me in a bunker and kept me locked in on the task at hand.

All eyes will be on Wembanyama and Henderson throughout the upcoming season. The two players headline a draft class that is expected to be deep and talent evaluators will be curious to see how they handle the pressure and expectations that come with being the top picks.

They seem to be more than ready for the challenge.

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Chris Paul, Devin Booker pulled up to watch Wembanyama, Henderson

Suns guards Chris Paul and Devin Booker were among the players in attendance to watch the projected top picks square off.

Phoenix Suns guards Chris Paul and Devin Booker were among the NBA players in attendance on Tuesday to watch projected top picks Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson square off in a preseason matchup in Henderson, Nevada.

With the Suns facing the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Paul and Booker made the quick trip over to catch the high-profile prospects in action. The game was expected to attract an estimated 200 scouts from NBA teams.

In addition to Paul and Booker, Trevor Ariza of the Lakers was sitting with them courtside. Free agent DeMarcus Cousins was in attendance, as were A’ja Wilson and Chelsea Gray of the Las Vegas Aces.

The contest was a potential look at the top two draft prospects in action against each other. The eventual top two picks in a draft have only faced each other predraft a handful of times over the past 20 years. The most recent meeting occurred last season between Paolo Banchero (Duke) and Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga).

The two players showcased why each is so highly touted throughout the contest. The upcoming season should be worth monitoring to see if Henderson can become a viable option for the top pick in the draft ahead of Wembanyama.

They will meet again on Thursday at 3 p.m. EDT on ESPN 2.

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Projected top picks Wembanyama, Henderson clash in preseason matchup

Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson, the top two prospects next year, will meet on the court for the first time on Tuesday.

Before the incoming NBA rookie class has an opportunity to take the court in an official setting, the basketball community will get an early look at two of the top prospects in 2023.

Victor Wembanyama and Metropolitans 92 of the LNB Pro A in France will face Scoot Henderson and the NBA G League Ignite in two preseason games this week starting on Tuesday (10 p.m. EDT, ESPN 2) from Henderson, Nevada.

Wembanyama, a 7-foot-4 center from Le Chesnay, France, is considered perhaps the top prospect since LeBron James. He boasts an 8-foot wingspan and is highly touted for his overall skills given his fluidity on the court, ability to handle the ball and space the floor.

The 18-year-old is widely projected to be the top pick over Henderson next year. Though the two have mutual respect for each other, Wembanyama agrees with the general consensus.

I’ve been following him for 1-2 years. Out of all of the prospects I’ve heard about in our class, I think he is my favorite one. I think he is the most reliable one I’ve seen. He is really a great player. If I was never born, I think he would deserve the first spot.

On the other side, Henderson enters his second season with the Ignite. He was the youngest American to sign a professional contract last year when he joined the team at 17. He has exceptional athleticism and shined in creating for himself and others last year.

With another year against G League competition, Henderson will look to show scouts and executives why he should be the top pick over Wembanyama. He believes he has taken a step toward being a strong leader for his team.

I feel like my game is very electrifying. I’m a leader that uplifts my teammates all of the time. Even if I make a mistake, I’m going to make sure everybody else is good and I feel like that’s where I’ve grown the most.

The exhibition game is expected to draw an estimated 200 scouts from NBA teams along with several other high-ranking executives. Players from the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles, who play in Las Vegas on Wednesday, are also expected to be in attendance.

Wembanyama called it the most important game of his career.

In terms of recognition worldwide, I think this is the biggest game I’ve ever played in my life. But I’m just curious to know how it will go because we’re an overseas team and we’re playing against an NBA team with NBA rules and an NBA court. This is really going to be a first time for me.

Said Henderson:

I’m looking forward to playing. Put it in my hands and I’m going to try to lead my team to the win; that’s what’s most important to me right now to start the season off right. If that changes the scouts’ minds then so be it but I feel like the outcome will be great.

The upcoming games will give scouts and executives a tremendous look at where each prospect is at this stage of their respective careers. The two players believe they are ready to live up to the hype, and those watching will certainly be eager to see how they handle it.

The two teams meet next on Thursday at 3 p.m. EDT on ESPN 2.

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Mojave King, Leonard Miller officially sign contracts with G League Ignite

The news of the two players joining the Ignite was previously reported over the summer.

New Zealand guard Mojave King and Canadian guard Leonard Miller  signed contracts with the NBA G League Ignite, the team announced on Wednesday.

King played the last two seasons in the NBL as part of the Next Stars program with the Cairns Terrapins and Adelaide 36ers. He averaged 3.6 points and one rebound on 37% shooting from the field in 26 games with the 36ers last season.

The 20-year-old also spent one year with the NBA Academy in Canberra, Australia. He emerged as one of the top prospects at the 2019 NBA Academy Games in front of scouts and teams and likely would have been a five-star prospect had he attended college in the United States.

Miller, who will turn 19 in November, tested the NBA draft this year but opted to withdraw and sign with the Ignite. He participated in the combine in May, averaging 7.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in two scrimmage games.

The news of the two players joining the Ignite was reported over the summer, but the team had not announced the signings until Wednesday.

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They will join Scoot Henderson on the Ignite this season, along with Efe Abogidi, Sidy Cissoko and Shareef O’Neal. Starting this season, the team will play its home games in Henderson, Nevada, and have a full 50-game schedule. It will be eligible for the playoffs.

The stated goal of the Ignite is to provide development opportunities for those prospects looking to play professionally. The team offers the players a platform to showcase their skills in front of scouts and executives against G League competition.

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Projected top pick Victor Wembanyama measured in with an absurd 8-foot wingspan

The projected top pick next year recently measured in with an 8-foot wingspan.

Victor Wembanyama, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA draft, reportedly measured in with an 8-foot wingspan, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

The recent measurement is just one aspect of his game that has teams high on the 18-year-old standout from France. He is considered perhaps the top prospect since LeBron James given his fluidity on the court, ability to handle the ball and space the floor at 7 feet, 4 inches.

Wembanyama averaged 7.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots last season with ASVEL Basket in the LNB Pro A, the top league in France. He opted to change teams ahead of the 2022-23 season and will suit up for Metropolitans 92 in Paris.

He also competed in the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup with France.

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Teams will have the opportunity to scout Wembanyama up close when Metropolitans 92 play two exhibition games against the NBA G League Ignite Oct. 4-6 in Henderson, Nevada. The games will pit Wembanyama against the projected No. 2 pick, Scoot Henderson.

The friendlies will air on the ESPN family of networks.

Metropolitans 92 will play three games starting on Sept. 23 and then travel to Nevada for a week of practices and games. The Ignite will play a 50-game schedule this season starting on Nov. 4 from their new home arena in Henderson. They will be eligible for the playoffs for the first time.

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