Utah-based fantasy author Brandon Sanderson recently gained a very famous — and very tall — new fan.
After discovering his books less than two years ago, Victor Wembanyama, an NBA rookie sensation who plays for the San Antonio Spurs, now describes Sanderson as his favorite author among the many fantasy writers that help him pass his free time.
“One of my hobbies happens to be reading fantasy books,” Wembanyama told Stephen Noh of Sporting News. “It’s the one thing that allows me, more than (TV) series, more than anything, to escape from the real world.”
The 7-foot-4 French player said he quickly fell in love with the author’s world-building skills after first picking up one of his books about 15 months ago.
“Sanderson is everything I look for when I read,” he told Sporting News.
Sanderson, on the other hand, started researching Wembanyama’s playing career after the Spurs star talked about reading his books in an interview with the San Antonio News-Express.
The author told Sporting News that he loves when athletes break down stereotypes and talk about their passion for books.
“I grew up in an era where we like to pretend that people who like sports and people who like books were different breeds. ... And I always hated that,” Sanderson said.
Brandon Sanderson books
Sanderson, who lives in American Fork, Utah, has published around 50 books and has many more on the way.
He famously wrote several “secret books” during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and then sold them to fans through a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $33 million, as the Deseret News previously reported.
Sanderson, a BYU graduate, told Noh of Sporting News that he may use Wembanyama’s unique build as inspiration for a book project he’s currently working on.
“I am writing an entire book series called ‘The Stormlight Archives’ about a world where the gravity is a little less, people are a bit taller than on our planet. There’s a group called the Edgedancers that I think Wemby might fit quite well into,” he said.
NBA player book clubs
As Wembanyama continues to work his way through Sanderson’s extensive book catalogue, he could consider starting a book club for fans, as other NBA players have done.
For example, Ekpe Udoh, who is currently an assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks but previously played for the Utah Jazz, ran a Twitter-based book club for several years.
While in Utah, Udoh organized in-person discussions with fellow readers and surprised participants with his passion for reading, as the Deseret News previously reported.
“When we are in the discussions, it’s easy to forget that he plays for the Jazz,” said book club member Bentley Mitchell to the Deseret News in 2017. “He’s the guy in charge of the book club and one of the participants, and the fact that he’s a professional basketball player becomes secondary to that.”
Wembanyama could also consider adding “author” to his resumé like another famous 7-footer has done.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who is 7-foot-2 and retired from the NBA in 1989, is the co-author of several books and comic books about Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock Holmes’ brother.