Wangmene Improves As A Junior

Alexis Wangmene, a native of Cameroon, is making the most of stay in the United States. A product of the "Basketball Without Borders" program, Wangmene has made strides since his initial season in the United States.

As a sophomore, Alexis Wangmene traveled midway through the year from Cameroon to Central Catholic in San Antonio, Texas. The 6-foot-8 center didn't have a full season of ball under his belt but he's quickly making up for lost time.

Wangmene's story is a good one. Spotted by Spurs general manager R.C. Buford while in Africa, Buford is now his legal guardian in the United States. "Mr. Buford put him here because he wanted a place he could be educated as a young man and learn life lessons and at the same time find a school that was rich in basketball tradition," Central Catholic coach Eddie Ybarra told

Wangmene is making the most of his opportunity. Through 28 games as a junior, he scored 625 points at a 23-point per game clip. Toss in 11.8 rebounds and a 64% field goal percentage and Wangmene has successfully made the basketball transition and is considered a Division I prospect.

"He's doing great. He's second in the city in scoring with a 23.1 average," Ybarra said. "That's with him going up against everybody – 5A and 4A. I think he's No. 5 in the city for field goal percentage and No. 8 in rebounding."

In recent years, numerous African players from a handful of countries have made their way to the United States. In college basketball, at the very highest level, they've been met with mixed results. Wangmene, however, is showing signs of improving and his production as a junior shouldn't be overlooked.

"He's become a hub of our offense," Ybarra said. "What's happened is that we've got good chemistry and as a result of that we're 19-10. He's getting double-teamed and triple-teamed and our guards are hitting the shots."

Ybarra attributes Wangmene's growth as a player to a bevy of factors. "It's a number of components. One is confidence in himself and within our system. He only played 6 or 7 games last year and that was it. It's a little of him feeling more comfortable and our players playing a year with him. He has a pretty good work ethic when it comes to self development. He's put on 15 pounds over the summertime from last year to this year."

Georgia, Notre Dame, Texas, Vanderbilt, UNLV, Kansas, St. John's, Florida and Virginia Tech have shown preliminary interest with many of them making the trip to San Antonio this year to eyeball Wangmene.

Ybarra is very pleased with his standout big man on and off the court. "He has a great demeanor about himself and a great personality. He's well-liked in our student body and that's adults and our students. There's not one negative thing that has ever been said by a teacher. He's on the honor roll. He's doing all the right things."

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