One of the big stories to come out of the first week of play in California was the emergence of 7-foot-5 junior Mamadou Ndiaye
at Brethren Christian (Huntington Beach)
A native of Senegal in just his second year in the United States, Ndiaye is averaging 22.8 points, 13.2 rebounds and 6.8 blocked shots per game through five contests for the Warriors. His best outing came on the final day of the Godinez Tournament in Anaheim, where he tallied 31 points, grabbed 14 boards and swatted eight shots. He connected on 14 of 17 field goal attempts in the 61-53 win over Segerstrom.
Ndiaye transferred from Stoneridge Prep in Simi Valley to the Huntington Beach school mid-year last season but did not play basketball.
"It's been interesting," Brethren Christian head coach John Bahnsen said. "It's been a challenge for everybody to learn to play with someone of that size. But we're coming around. We had a decent first week and we're on the road to our second tournament of the season now."
According to Bahnsen, Ndiaye is already generating significant interest from colleges and has a long basketball career ahead of him. He is easily the tallest player listed in MaxPreps.com's prospect database
, which features over 1,600 Division I college basketball hopefuls.
"Most definitely he is (drawing college interest)," Bahnsen said. "Some of it is going to depend on academics, but he has a future in professional basketball."
Ndiaye's guardians are managing much of the recruiting process and keeping that information close to the vest for now.
The adjustment to life in the United States is a work in progress, according to Bahnsen.
"I think initially it was pretty scary for him," Bahnsen said. "His guardians made contact with some adults from Senegal (now in the United States) and I think that's helped him as far as making the transition."
Brethren Christian (3-2) plays in the Viewpoint Tournament beginning tomorrow and running through Saturday in Calabasas. The Warriors open pool play against Village Christian (Sun Valley).