Profile - Assane Diouf
Colorado Hawks post player Assane Diouf has taken his game from Senegal to Denver, Colorado. The 15 year old 7 footer is adjusting well to the move under the guidance of Hawk head man Greg Willis.
Assane played basketball in Senegal but found things to be different when he arrived in Denver. It was the first time Diouf had played on a hardwood floor, with a shot clock, with referees, and inside a big building. “He has come a long way in his short time here,” said Willis. “I love what the future holds for this young man.”
At 7’-240 pounds (89 1/2" wing span) Diouf has a great touch around the basket with either hand. He has developed a hook shot and a short jump shot. “He is so strong physically that he can move his opponent with ease,” said Willis. Assane is a ferocious rebounder that has strong hands. His 89” wingspan helps Assane control the paint.
His jump shot is the one area where Diouf has shown the most improvement since arriving in the States. Diouf has also improved his footwork and is not clumsy for a man his size. “I see so much potential and talent oozing from this kid, it is scary how good he can be once he learns what he can do on the court” said Willis. “I have no doubt that he will be an impact player for a college team.”
Willis let us know that Georgia Tech is the one school that stands out from the rest in Assane’s recruitment. Tech got in early on Diouf and built a great relationship with him. “Coach Mamadou N’Diaye and Coach (Brian) Gregory have shown him that they will make sure he is taken care of,” said Willis. Diouf feels comfortable around the two coaches. “I feel he’ll be going to Georgia Tech,” said Willis. “No doubt about it, he loves it there.”
Tech also made Diouf feel more comfortable by showing him how many students from his native country attend Tech. “He feels he can go to Tech and fit in better there than anywhere else,” said Willis.
As he moves closer to attending college, Willis feels that Assane will have to get use to life in the States and then start making decisions that will affect the rest of his life. “I think he’s made one to go to Georgia Tech,” said Willis.
Willis’ words were prophetic. The day after we (GoJackets.com) talked to him, Assane committed to Georgia Tech. After our conversation with Willis, Assane let him know that he didn’t want to think it over anymore. “He said he was committing to Georgia Tech and wanted to let the coaches know and let it be official.”
The fact that Coach N’Diaye is from Senegal and is a college graduate, played in the NBA, and is at a place like Georgia Tech helping other kids from Africa better themselves really sealed it for Assane. “Assane also says Coach Gregory is so genuine and has the love for his players and it shows. Add that in with the education he will get is just icing on the cake.”
How does Willis think Assane will do at Tech? "I think he will do great. He will have Coach N'Diaye there to help him in ways other coaches can't. He works hard and has the self-discipline to do what it takes to get the job done and be the best at it no matter what the job is. He doesn't feel entitled but wants to learn, wants to become better, and relishes hard work in order to do that."
We asked Willis if he thought Assane’s commit was set in stone. "I do, I really do. Georgia Tech has been there from the start and has always gone out of their way to let him know he will be okay while he is at Tech and Tech will make him a better person, a better basketball player, and a more rounded person. That is all Assane needed to know."