“I decided to enter my name in the NBA draft because it was a dream that could only come true,” opened up NBA player, Wesley Iwundu. Taking that leap can be scary but when the pull within you exceeds that fear; well, you go for it. “The process was the most stressful one ever but like in a good way,” he added. Having worked out for 20 teams and only been drafted by 1 definitely kicked the stress levels into high gear and as he said, “you could imagine the thinking and anxiety going through my head that whole process.” Despite the waves, the process was all worth it and Wesley was drafted the 33rd overall pick.
And thus began his journey to success and fulfilling his lifelong dreams. Basketball holds a special place in his heart as it is more than just a sport. Warmly he shared, “I found out so much about myself through the game of basketball. I found out how much I love to travel and be in different settings, and also how much I really have an interest in fashion.” Through the sport he loves, he has met a variety of people and already opened many different doors. “ I could be nothing but happy for how everything has played out until this point.”
Before finding himself immersed into the world of NBA, Wesley accepted a scholarship to Kansas State for basketball which was one of his first real pushes in life. “The moment of me leaving home as a young adult taught me ways to make my own decisions, and with that comes maturing and learning how to be in different situations/environments,” he explained. Learning how to “figure it out,” played a big part in who he is today. A young and dedicated athlete who doesn’t take anything for granted and continues to push himself every day.
That constant upward climb doesn’t always come easy. Sometimes we face things that make getting to the top impossible but with the right mindset and people surrounding you, you can achieve anything. Growing up, Wesley was raised by a working single mother who took care of him, his older sister, and his older brother. “She was always determined to get whatever was needed done. If I had an hour drive to practice she would take me, fresh off her job and everything,” he shared looking back. “I credit her a lot for the person I am today. My mom’s love, loyalty, and determination towards her kids is what stamps me as a person today.” Something that doesn’t go unnoticed by those who cross paths with Wesley.
This reminds us just how important it is to hold onto the right values we were taught and appreciate those who helped guide us through our life up until today. Life can feel like a true whirlwind sometimes, which makes it important to stop, breathe, and express gratitude! You can do anything no matter how hard it may seem and for the basketball player, “(he) always wants the best job done and (he is) very determined about it.” Whether that be in basketball, in his personal life, or in his love for fashion!
Yes, playing for the Charlotte Hornets is not Wesley’s only passion! “Fashion has almost been like another career field,” he shared. “I started my FreeTheFuture brand with diplomacy and it’s been nothing but amazing.” He finds himself part of the creative and picking of designs which brings him the utmost joy. Having always loved coordinating outfits, no matter what stage he was at, fashion was important. “Entering the NBA, my love for fashion grew. I say it’s a way for me to express myself through fabric and color,” he opened up. “Also, I just like being dripped out.” I think we all do to some extent, right?
And speaking of fashion, Wesley had the great pleasure of partaking in the New York Fashion Week festivities! “It felt amazing getting out to NYFW. Was in rooms with people I would have never imagined,” he expressed with a bright smile. Grateful to have been able to meet different designers and learn about what inspires them and their stories, Wesley added, “fashion brings all kinds of people together and it’s a beautiful thing to see.”
With fashion comes beauty and for the young and inspiring basketball player, “beauty means YOURSELF. No one can bring out your true beauty but you. It must start with you.” A little reminder for all of you reading this! Everything stems from YOU so keep working on that as each of us brings something new and refreshing to the table. Embodying this positivity, Wesley is feeling good about where he is at, “I would explain it as the puzzle is coming right along at a good pace.”
Wesley Iwundu is an athlete with heart, soul, and a great sense of fashion. Every day is a new opportunity for him to discover new things whether it be about himself, new people, and more. A few things are in progress and basketball season is here! With more drops from his FreeTheFuture line to come, you are going to want to keep an eye out as he is bringing IT!
Talent WESLEY IWUNDU @4iwundu_
Photographer FRANZ MAHR Franzmars
Styling & Creative Direction AMBIKA “B” SANJANA @styledbyambika
Styling Assistant SHELBY WATSON @ shelbswats
Grooming ARLEN FARMER Arlenjeremy
Interview ALEXANDRA BONNET @alexbonnetwrites
Location ZEVARRA LOFTS @zevarralofts
Production @bellomediagroup x @maisonpriveepr_la x @alexbonnetwrites x @easilyfacts