Rutgers' N'Diaye Fulfills Dream in NBA Draft | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / May 27.
  • Rutgers’ N’Diaye Fulfills Dream in NBA Draft

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    NEW YORK –– Born and raised in Dakar, Senegal, Hamady N’Diaye didn’t begin playing basketball until he was 16.

    Seven years later, N’Diaye was reduced to tears when he was selected in the NBA Draft.

    The Minnesota Timberwolves chose N’Diaye No. 56 in the second round and dealt him to the Washington Wizards, where he could be a teammate of Kentucky guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick.

    “To be honest, I still am crying,” N’Diaye said in a phone interview. “It’s a whole lot emotional. I don’t know what to say, to be honest.”

    The 6-foot-11 Ndiaye posted 145 blocks in 2009-10 to break former All-American and NBA veteran Roy Hinson’s single season (144) and career (355) records at Rutgers.

    Ndiaye ranked third nationally in blocks last season and became the first Rutgers player to lead the Big East in rejections. An All-Met selection by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association, Ndiaye received the Rutgers MVP Award in 2009-10.

    “We are very pleased to add Trevor Booker [from Clemson] and Hamady N’Diaye to our roster on an exciting night for our franchise,” Washington president Ernie Grunfeld said. “Trevor is a strong rebounder and hard-nosed defender with an aggressive mentality. He is a real competitor who will bring a strong desire and physicality to our team. Hamady also plays with toughness and a lot of effort, and has an excellent ability to block shots.”

    N’Diaye was one of 11 Big East players selected in the draft.

    Still, N’Diaye had to wait through 55 picks before he heard his name called. He walked around and paced while watching the draft from Fort Lee, N.J., along with his agent, Keith Glass, and Rutgers assistant, Jimmy Carr.

    “It is probably the worst waiting time ever,” N’Diaye said. “Waiting and waiting and you don’t know what is going to happen, and then the draft winding down and everything. But I just kept faith. Keith did a wonderful job and I did all I could in my workouts and everything. So thanks to God and everything it came out this way.”

    Growing up in Senegal, N’Diaye, like many fellow Africans, played soccer, not basketball.

    Back then, he never could have imagined getting drafted into the best basketball league in the world.

    “It was my goal and my dream since I started playing basketball but growing up I would have never imagined it could get this far,” N’Diaye said. “So it took a lot of hard work and dedication for it, so I’m really, really proud of myself.”

    N”Diaye called his parents back in Senegal to give them the news.

    “And they are all excited about it,” he said.

    BIG EAST PLAYERS TAKEN IN 2010 NBA DRAFT

    Wesley Johnson (Syracuse), No. 4, Minnesota

    Greg Monroe (Georgetown), No. 7, Detroit

    Dominique Jones (South Florida), No 25, Memphis, traded to Dallas for cash

    Lazar Hayward (Marquette), No. 30, Washington

    Andy Rautins (Syracuse), No. 37, Knicks

    Lance Stephenson (Cincinnati), No. 40, Indiana

    Da’Sean Butler (West Virginia), No. 42, Miami

    Devin Ebanks (West Virginia), No. 43, L.A. Lakers

    Luke Harangody (Notre Dame), No. 52, Boston

    Hamady N’Diaye (Rutgers), No. 56, Minnesota, traded to Washington

    Stanley Robinson (UConn), No. 59, Orlando

    FREE THROWS
    **All-American Scottie Reynolds goes undrafted

    **Pittsburgh men’s hoops headed to summer tour of Ireland with Dan Rooney

    **West Virginia standouts Da’Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks go back-to-back in 2nd round

    (Photo courtesy Rutgers Athletics)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. 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.

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