WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — On Saturday, the Wizards welcomed their first draft pick, Bilal Coulibaly of France during a press conference at The Anthem at the Wharf in DC.

“As we got closer to draft night we realized that he was our guy, and when we got in the room, Mike (Winger) made sure we got our guy,” said Wizards’ general manager, Will Dawkins at the media presser. “He’s a two-way player that we have a lot of confidence in and were able to target.”

The Indiana Pacers technically drafted Coulibaly as the number seven overall pick, however, Washington traded up one pick with Indiana to claim Coulibaly when it was all said and done.

Coulibaly said that he only had time to visit with one franchise ahead of draft night, and he made it a priority to meet with the Washington Wizards.

“It was the only place I visited, so I was so happy, that is where I wanted to be, to be honest.”

Coulibaly spent the past season in the French league playing with Boulogne-Levallois. That is the same team as top overall pick Victor Wembanyama. Coulibaly says that he and Wembanyama are good friends and have competed with each other in basketball since they were 13 years old.

Of course, large exposure for Wemby, led to more visits from NBA scouts for Coulibaly in France.

“They were coming for Victor at first, but when the (NBA) lottery night passed and everything, they (NBA scouts) were still coming, the teams who couldn’t get him (Wemby). So I was like, ‘this is my time now I gotta show out’ and that’s what I did.”

After a busy week ahead of draft night, the Wizards’ front office facilitated trades to begin the process of a rebuild in Washington, especially with franchise player, Bradley Beal gone for good.

With Beal out of the picture, comes an opportunity for a new young star to be the face of this franchise. An opportunity, that Coulibaly is excited about.

“I want to be a franchise player for the Washington Wizards, play as long as possible in DC and I love DC, I love the fans and all the support I have received.”