DeSagana Diop Rumors

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DeSagana Diop
DeSagana Diop
Position: None
Born: 01/30/82
Height: 7-0 / 2.13
Weight:280 lbs. / 127 kg.
Back in 2007, when Dieng attended the 16-and-under tournament, he was spotted by the coach of Senegal’s national team. In 2009, after SEED, he was invited to attend national team tryouts in Italy. By far the youngest player there, he roomed a few doors down from someone with quite a bit more experience: Diop. When the national team wasn’t practicing, Dieng did his rookie duties — running errands for the older guys, especially Diop, who he peppered with questions about the league. “I was coming to his room 24/7,” Dieng remembered. “He wanted me to go get stuff for him. I’m going to go get it, but I’m going to keep asking him questions. “‘What’s the NBA like?’ “‘What do people do?’ “‘Is it true that this guy shoots like that?’ “I basically go in my room only to sleep … [When] everybody’s resting, I’d be in Sagana’s room talking to him. He’d be like, ‘Yo, kid, go to your room. I want to take a nap.’ I’d be like ‘Nah.’ I just kept asking questions.”
“I could just feel the hunger,” Diop said. “That’s the first kid I ever met from Senegal who was asking me those kinds of questions … You could see he wanted to make it.” Dieng learned all about U.S. basketball during those tryouts, then put it to use later that year. Coached by Engelbrecht, his SEED class traveled to the States to participate in a Nike Global Challenge tournament. They saw tough competition right away. Their first game was against Team USA Midwest, made up of elite high schoolers. Dieng won the game with a buzzer-beating turnaround 3.
Come tournament time, seeing the way players interacted in the boarding-school-like environment reminded Fall of INSEP, the French institution that produced Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, and Ronny Turiaf. He realized he could turn his idea into an academy much like the French program. “I thought, ‘OK, maybe this is it,’” Fall said. “‘We’re going to find a way through SEED to come and work with the government to start basically the same institution that they have in France.’ … That is really how it started.” Five years later, Dieng played in the 16-and-under, which he affectionately refers to today as “Diop’s tournament.” At 17, he was technically too old to enter, but an exception was made for the kid from the country, since living 50 miles away in Kebemer, where his father was mayor for more than 20 years, granted him little chance at exposure. It was there that SEED scouts discovered Dieng.
“I was coming to his room 24/7,” Dieng remembered. “He wanted me to go get stuff for him. I’m going to go get it, but I’m going to keep asking him questions. “‘What’s the NBA like?’ “‘What do people do?’ “‘Is it true that this guy shoots like that?’ “I basically go in my room only to sleep … [When] everybody’s resting, I’d be in Sagana’s room talking to him. He’d be like, ‘Yo, kid, go to your room. I want to take a nap.’ I’d be like ‘Nah.’ I just kept asking questions.” To Diop, Dieng stood out from the other young Senegalese players he had met before. “I could just feel the hunger,” Diop said. “That’s the first kid I ever met from Senegal who was asking me those kinds of questions … You could see he wanted to make it.”