UC-Irvine Anteaters' 7 feet 6 inch Center Mamadou N'Diaye
J Thoendell stashed this in Sports
You will be able to tell, on your TV, that N'Diaye is a head taller than everybody else on the basketball court, including the many NBA-caliber prospects that Pitino will throw in his direction during Friday's game. What you might not be able to see on your TV is that the rest of N'Diaye's body has similarly awe-inspiring dimensions. The bills of his shoes come up to around his teammates' calves, and his sneakers look as if they could comfortably fit a second adult's shoe inside of them. N'Diaye's hands swallow nearly the entire ball, palm touching palm on the bottom and fingertips touching fingertips on the top. Something looks funny when he dunks, and then you realize it's because N'Diaye dunks from a walking start, a talent that eludes most every NBA player not named Yao Ming, Shawn Bradley, Manute Bol, or Gheorghe Muresan.
Another thing you might not be able to tell about N'Diaye is that, even though he's 21 years old, he seems old. Not old as in he seems like a 25-year-old, but old in the way he moves: everything he does is slow, methodical, relaxed, easy. His jump shots softly slide through the net—there is no trace of anxiety about the upcoming game against Louisville, much less any self-consciousness about all the eyes locked in on each of his shots.
Thanks to Mamadou, UC Irvine almost beat 4th-ranked Louisville in the first round of March Madness 2015. Well played, sir!