"Everyone here loves him and he's been great for our school," a woman at Sun Valley (Idaho) Community School said on Thursday.
"Him" is 6-foot-9 Senegalese forward Daniel Gomis, an 18-year old who averages 21 points and a bunch of blocks for his high school team. Ed Flory, Gomis' coach is tasked with tracking the academic and basketball progress of this young man who is a product of the Basketball Without Borders program.
Gomis turned 18 on Sept. 11 and won't be at Community next year. Instead, he'll be at a prep school where he'll be eligible to play. "He's coming to the Community School to get his NCAA Clearinghouse stuff in line and he's taking his SAT's in another month," Flory said. "He was laying low from the DI's but they found him."
A product of the Senegalese national team, Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson has seen him already. Assistants from Virginia Tech, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, UNLV, Purdue and Gonzaga have also seen him. Flory has fielded calls from Wake Forest, temple and Kansas.
Flory, who coached in the NDBL, said Gomis is a near straight A student who speaks five languages. As much as he's been praised for his potential as a basketball player, it's as a person where he seems to have made the most impact.
"You'll see when you meet him. He's got a smile that sets people back. He took these 5th graders and just mesmerized them. It's hard to describe, he just smiles and its like ‘wow.' But, he's intense on the court."
Like many of his countrymen who journey to the U.S. to begin their careers in basketball, Gomis has things to work on, namely his feel for the game. "This year we ran half court stuff for him so he could get a better feel," Flory said. "He's going to need a little work on that when he gets to college so he can be more disciplined when he gets to college. He does have a big motor and he wants to go."
In summary, Gomis is a guy that has begun to dot the radar of college programs. He's currently tucked away in Sun Valley but it may not be long before the spotlight shines his way.