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.
At 6 feet, 9 inches and with tremendous athleticism, Cheick Diallo will be one of the most highly recruited players in the Class of 2015.
The big man out of Our Savior New American High School is ranked No. 8 in the 2015 ESPN 60.
Information on his recruitment has been tightly guarded, but sources said Kentucky, Kansas, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Iowa State and St. John’s are among the schools in the mix for Diallo. Many of those programs watched him play with Team Scan at the recent Nike EYBL stop in Sacramento and will continue to monitor him this summer.
Now that New York’s Barry “Slice” Rohrssen is on the staff at Kentucky, the Wildcats are expected to pick up their recruitment of Diallo.
Diallo is the youngest of five children from Bamako, Mali.
Like many African players, he grew up playing soccer before coming to the U.S. to pursue his dreams of a basketball career.
“I played football before and after I’m going to play basketball,” Diallo told SNY.tv last summer. “Soccer is so hard.”
He has only been playing organized basketball for four years, but his 7-4 wingspan certainly gives him an advantage.
“His upside is tremendous because he runs the floor like a cheetah,” Our Savior assistant Erik Jaklitsch told SNY.tv then. “He’s so fast down the floor, he just beats every other big guy down the floor and he’s only really kind of scratched the surface of what he’s capable of doing.
“He’s an extremely hard-working student and player, and he’s a student of the game. He keeps learning and he keeps getting better. He’s only going to be a junior so he’s got two more years of playing basketball. He’s got a whole summer of playing and practicing. He just keeps getting better and better incrementally, and he’s probably one of the hottest prospects this entire spring right now.”
Jaklitsch said then that Diallo wasn’t really focused on his recruitment, but soon he will need to start focusing in on a few schools and eventually taking visits.
“He’s going to be able go to whatever school he wants to go to,” Jaklitsch said then, “and he just wants to keep getting better.”
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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.