Bridgton Forward Headed to ACC

Cheick Diakite credits Virginia Tech for helping him get from Mali to the United States - and now the Bridgton Academy power forward will repay the favor to the Hokies.

Cheick Diakite, a 6-8 1/2, 225-pound power forward at Bridgton Academy (Maine), committed to Virginia Tech.

``They helped get him here," Bridgton coach Whit Lesure. "They stayed with him and that's where he wanted to go."

Diakite, who has already qualified, also considered Providence, SMU, Georgia, St. Louis LaSalle and Rhode Island.

Diakite is an energy guy who rebounds and runs the court extremely well. After a slow start while getting acclimated from Mali, he averaged nearly a double-double (10 points, 9 rebounds) in the second half of the season.

``He played great over the last three weeks of the season and is one of the guys who put us over the top," said Lesure, whose team won the NEPSAC Class A title. He's a poor man's Ben Wallace. He plays so damn hard."

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