It’s hard enough for 7-foot-5 high school basketball players to become fluid enough to become legitimate factors on a consistent basis during games.
It’s even harder when said player has only been living in the United States for two years and recently had a tumor removed from his pituitary gland.
Those are the circumstances for Mamadou Ndiaye, a mammoth 2013 prospect from Brethren Christian (Calif.). He came over from Senegal two years ago, enrolling at Stoneridge Prep (Calif.) and obtaining a student visa. When that school couldn’t afford his aforementioned surgery, enough money was raised through charitable donations to cover two operations. A couple near Brethren Christian – more than 80 miles from Stoneridge – became Ndiaye’s legal guardians.
Most players Ndiaye’s size are awkward and can’t move well on the basketball court, but as the video below demonstrates, he has some skills. Aside from not winning the opening tip (no clue how someone 7-foot-5 doesn’t win a jump ball), he is able to drop-step and finish, and knows how to get position inside against smaller players. His touch from the free-throw line also was decent, and he clearly has pretty good hands.
Expect to hear plenty more about Ndiaye in the coming months.
UPDATE: Talked to a few people about Ndiaye. The competition he faces in Brethren's league is poor, and includes some co-ed teams. He's not likely to go to a different school, though, as his host family has kids that go to Brethren and Ndiaye seems loyal to them. In terms of recruiting, he has been on Santa Clara's campus, but it's still quiet for now. That will change soon.