Hamidou Diallo Shows Out in Front of Kentucky and NBA Scouts
With Kentucky assistant Tony Barbee and about 30 NBA scouts in attendance, Hamidou Diallo flashed his athleticism at the National Prep Showcase on Friday night.
The 6-foot-6 shooting guard went for 19 points and 7 rebounds as his Putnam Science Academy (CT) downed Sunrise Christian (KS), 87-82, at Albertus Magnus College.
“Based on what I saw tonight and this summer he should attend college and continue to develop his game,” one NBA scout said. “He’s athletic and flashes some skill but has a ways to go from being NBA ready. I think someone would draft him for his talent but it’s not about making the league, it’s about giving yourself the best chance to stick.”
Diallo is eligible for the 2017 NBA Draft, as first reported by ZAGSBLOG, but has stated his desire to spend at least a year in college in 2017-18. He’s now projected as the No. 11 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com.
A year ago, Kentucky coach John Calipari and UConn’s Kevin Ollie were both on hand at the event to see Diallo, who has now trimmed his list to a six of Kentucky, UConn, Kansas, Syracuse, Arizona and Indiana, but has yet to take any official visits.
Kentucky now has three commits in 2017 — forwards Nick Richards and P.J. Washington and guard Shai Alexander — but Calipari has said the team plans to sign “five or six” guys.
Diallo is expected to commit in the spring, but it remains uncertain if he will forego college for the NBA.
“I think he’s going to be a good fit almost anywhere because he’s an explosive player,” Putnam coach Tom Espinosa said recently. “He’s 6-6, he’s long, he’s athletic. When he gets a little more skilled, he’s going to be extremely good, you know?
“Even better, he’s good now. But he’s going to be a special player when he becomes a bit more skilled and I think he’d be a great fit at any of these schools, to be honest with you.”
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.