When the University of California-Irvine went against Louisville Friday afternoon in the NCAA basketball tournament, leading the team as a sophomore was Mamadou N’Diaye, a sophomore from Sengal who learned how to play basketball at Brethren Christian High School in Huntington Beach, Calif. (Brethren Christian, now an independent Christian school, was founded by members of Grace Brethren congregations in the Long Beach area.) The UCI Anteaters lost to the Louisville Cardinals in the closing minutes of the game. A story at the online site, MaxPreps, carries the story of N’Diaye, who, at 7-foot-6-inches, was the tallest player in the tournament A portion of the story appears below. Click here for the complete article.
Photos: 7-foot-6 Mamadou N’Diaye versus high school competition was not fair
The larger-than-life standout for UC Irvine hopes to change the game against Louisville like he did at Brethren Christian.
For a kid who could barely get up and down court when he first started playing basketball, Mamadou N’Diayehas come a long way.
Born in Dakar, Senegal, N’Diaye played soccer — not basketball — as a youth, but then picked up the game when he moved the U.S. as a teen. He didn’t speak English, which was a problem, but not like the golf ball-sized tumor found in his pituitary gland, which caused his massive growth. It’s also why he had such trouble at first, getting up and down the court.
He eventually learned English — his fifth language — and how to play basketball. He eventually found his way to Brethren Christian (Huntington Beach, Calif.), where he averaged 24 points and 14 rebounds a game his junior season. He upped that to 27 points, 14 rebounds and 4.5 blocks as a senior, which earned him a college scholarship to UC Irvine.
Click here for the complete article.