News & Politics

5 Things to Know About Alex Sarr, the Wizards’ Top Draft Pick

The 7-foot tall Frenchman went second overall in Wednesday night’s NBA draft.

Photograph by Roy Rochlin/Stringer.

Coming off a 15-67 season—quite literally, the worst in franchise history—the Washington Wizards are in desperate need of some hope. Enter Alexandre Sarr, the 7-foot French forward selected second overall by the Wizards in Wednesday night’s NBA Draft. Here’s what you need to know about the 19-year-old prospect.


1. He Was Originally Projected to Go First

While this year’s draft didn’t have a LeBron James or Zion Williamson-level top prospect, many NBA news outlets—including ESPN—projected Sarr would go to division rivals Atlanta with the first overall pick. That changed when Sarr refused to have a pre-draft workout with the Hawks, who already have starters penciled in at both frontcourt positions. Hopefully, Atlanta’s loss will be DC’s gain.


2. He’s Got a French Connection

Hailing from Bordeaux, Sarr is one of the influx of French players choosing to ply their trade in the NBA in recent years; Atlanta would end up selecting a fellow Frenchman, Zaccharie Risacher, as did the San Antonio Spurs last year with star center Victor Wembanyama. This is also the second year in a row the Wizards (Ouizards?) have drafted a French player high, with Sarr’s new teammate, promising forward Bilal Coulibaly, going seventh overall in 2023.


3. He’s Played All Over the World

Like many transplants to the DC area, Sarr has already racked up quite the collection of passport stamps. His French origins notwithstanding, Sarr also trained with Spain’s Real Madrid as a teenager, and played last season with the Perth Wildcats of Australia’s National Basketball League.


4. He Comes From a Hoops Family

While definitely the most notable, Sarr isn’t the first member of his family to play basketball professionally—or even the first to play in the NBA. His dad, Massar, played in France after immigrating from Senegal; his older brother, Olivier, has spent the last three seasons on and off the Oklahoma City Thunder, playing 46 games for the Western Conference contender.


5. He’s Already the Favorite For Rookie Of the Year

At least, if you trust the betting odds.

Arya Hodjat
Editorial Fellow