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Wembanyama wants to 'keep momentum going' after NBA rookie honor

SAN ANTONIO, United States -- French phenomenon Victor Wembanyama said he was already looking to build on his outstanding debut season after formally receiving his NBA Rookie of the Year trophy on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time.)

Wembanyama said the coveted award represented the progress he and his San Antonio Spurs teammates had made throughout the season.

He added that the presentation ceremony, at San Antonio's Scobee Planetarium attended by children from around his adopted city, was a perfect reflection of the warm welcome he had received in Texas.

"I think receiving this trophy here with fans, with kids, and everyone happy to be there, it's also a good feel for me and a good representation of the love that we felt throughout the whole year," he said.

Wembanyama was a unanimous selection as Rookie of the Year, taking all 99 first-place votes after a season in which he averaged 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, a league-high 3.6 blocked shots and 1.2 steals per game.

Throughout his outstanding debut campaign, Wembanyama said, he was more focused on how the Spurs were developing as a team than any potential individual accolades.

"I had the responsibility towards my team and the challenge of staying dominant and helpful for the team and also staying healthy," he said. "To me it was bigger than that."

The rebuilding Spurs finished with a 22-60 record, but Wembanyama said he was confident their emphasis on team effort rather than star power would see them rise in coming seasons.

"This is not enough," he said. "I want to keep the momentum going and let everybody know they are part of the family and they are part of the story."