Bates-Diop On The Rise

Keita Bates-Diop went from barely playing varsity basketball last season at Normal University High School to being considered one of the top-five prospects in 2014 from the state of Illinois. He received rave reviews from scouts with his play on the 15U circuit with the Illinois Wolves during the spring and summer.

The forwards game developed from primarily an inside player to a versatile forward that can step out and hit threes with consistency. This was remarkable considering where his shot was just months previous.

By the end of July Keita Bates-Diop was blocking shots, dominating on the boards, and scoring at multiple levels. He started receiving interest from high major programs including Northwestern.

"DePaul, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, Purdue, Butler, and Northwestern."

The Northwestern staff has been in contact with Bates-Diop for a while now. He talks about what stands out in the Big 10 program.

"They run a team oriented program which is always good."

Northwestern has long been known as an academic power. School is very important to the sophomore.

"It is going to be very important because basketball is going to end at some point so I will need something to fall back on and the school I go to will help me with my career after basketball."

Northwestern recently redesigned their court and got fans involved by having them vote online for their favorite. The new court design is a trend in college for spicing up the school for recruits. Do these types of moves have any effect on recruits looking at the school.

"It does a little bit, but it is not the most important thing."

Bates-Diop was brought along slowly last year as a freshman and saw most of his minutes in the JV games, but will have a much bigger impact in 2011-2012.

"I am looking forward to going out there and being a leader. I want to utilize what I did this summer. I will be playing inside and outside depending on who is guarding me and what we need at the moment."

Playing with Mike Mullins' Illinois Wolves program and under 15U coach Dave Kleinschmidt was tremendous experience.

"It went great! I learned a lot of things from their program. They showed me things I need to work on and learn."

College coaches were very impressed with the improvements Bates-Diop has made in his perimeter game.

"I have been in the gym a lot working on my game. It has paid off. My jump shot and form are better."

Bates-Diop is one of the top young prospects in the state and has a very high ceiling when it comes to where he could end up when he is done developing. He is a long athlete with a skill level that is improving at a dramatic rate. The forward also is the type of player coaches love to have because he is coach able and will do what ever it takes to win.

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