Radio Netherlands Worldwide

SSO Login

More login possibilities:

Close
  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
Home
Tuesday 21 October  
Nigerian-American Victor Oladipo, 21, was drafted to play in the NBA
Map
Africa,
Africa,

New wave of African basketball players has big plans for NBA

Published on : 23 July 2013 - 5:00am | By RNW Africa Desk (Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images/AFP)
More about:

The US National Basketball Association drafted four players with direct ties to Africa in the first round of 2013’s draft: Nigerians Victor Oladipo and Giannis Antetokounmpo, Dennis Schroeder from the Gambia and Gorgui Dieng from Senegal. AllAfrica interviewed fellow Senegalese basketball player Makhtar Ndiaye, who is also Dieng’s sport agent and mentor, about the sport's capacity for development in Africa as well as the continent's impact on the NBA.

As published by our partner allAfrica

Former Senegalese basketball player Makhtar Ndiaye is a sport agent and mentor to Louisville college basketball star Gorgui Dieng (pronounced GOR-gee Jeng), one of the 30 players picked in the first round of the 2013 National Basketball Association (NBA) draft held in June. Originally selected by the Utah Jazz as the 21st pick in the draft, Ndiaye saw Dieng traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves where he will start his professional basketball career when the 2013-2014 NBA season begins on October 29.

Ndiaye and Dieng are following in the footsteps of African basketball legends such as Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutombo and Manute Bol. They are also changing the face of Senegalese basketball as they lead a new wave of African talent into the NBA.

Born and raised in Senegal, Ndiaye played a season with the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1999 after finishing school at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Dieng also was born and raised in Senegal and is the second product of the Sports for Education and Economic Development in Senegal ("SEEDS" Academy) to be drafted by an NBA team. Located in Thiès, the SEEDS Academy is a college-preparatory boarding school (grades 9-12) created in 2003 to provide Senegalese boys with a year-round, rigorous academic, athletic and leadership development curriculum. The first SEEDS alumni to make it all the way to the NBA was Mouhamed Saer Sene, who was drafted in 2006 by the Seattle SuperSonics and now plays professionally in France.

Dieng's selection in the first round of the draft is indicative of Africa's growing presence in the NBA and, conversely, basketball's growing presence in Africa. In addition to Dieng, the 2013 NBA Draft saw three other players with direct ties to Africa – Victor Oladipo (Nigeria), Dennis Schroeder (The Gambia) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Nigeria) – drafted in the first round. "It was just bigger than the kid getting drafted and just shaking the commissioner's hand," said Ndiaye. "It was like a symbol."

Related content

According to Ndiaye, basketball is creeping into Africa and has been for some time. But the sport's potential on the continent remains largely untapped with soccer still reigning supreme in the African sports landscape.

"Basketball is the same everywhere you play," said Ndiaye. "Africa's got some of the greatest athletes, if not the greatest athletes on Earth. But some kids, they're not exposed to the game enough."

Ndiaye is ready for that reality to change. By pairing with a fellow countryman Dieng, Ndiaye sees potential for them to have a bigger impact.

"Gorgui has a vision just like I do," said Ndiaye. "I think his vision is to take SEEDS Academy to the next level."

As evidenced by this year's draft, the door to the NBA is open and teams are prepared to roll out the red carpet for African players. But, according to Ndiaye, it will take a concerted effort from African players to make it happen.

"At some point we have to take care of our own," said Ndiaye, "and make sure that we handle our destiny just like everyone else. As long as we're sitting here and just waiting for somebody else to do it, it's not going to get done."

AllAfrica's Bradley Parks spoke at length with Ndiaye about Gorgui Dieng, basketball's capacity for development in Africa as well as the continent's impact on the NBA.

Read the interview with Ndiaye on allAfrica.com

Most popular news in this dossier

In 2011, nine independent Ivorian newspapers were forced to shut after two month

World's media chiefs press African leaders on freedoms

Editors and publishers from across the world have singled out the governments of Egypt, Ethiopia, South...
An Internally Displaced Person (IDP) child cries as his mother tries to console

DRC: Hope for kids in Kinshasa

Despite horrific abuses perpetrated against women and children, the atrocities in the Democratic Republic of...
A scientist works in a laboratory at the International Livestock Research Instit

Africa: Four reasons skilled workers leave - and how to keep them

As African countries pursue policies designed to encourage economic growth, freer movement of talented people...
Vangelis Moras (seen left) of Greece and Emmanuel Emenike of Nigeria position fo

Nigeria need polish but improve steadily

In the third profile of Africa's World Cup contenders in Brazil, football analyst Nick Said looks at...
Manchester City star and African Footballer of the Year, Yaya Touré (seen left),

Ivory Coast fields powerful World Cup squad

In the first profile of Africa's World Cup contenders in Brazil, football analyst Nick Said looks at...

Discussion

obat herbal kanker kelenjar getah bening 31 August 2014 - 4:55am

Khasiat Obat Tradisional amazon bagi kanker kelenjar getah bening
Mungkin Anda mencari solusi pengobatan kelenjar getah bening?? disinilah tempatnya, obat alami untuk terapi penyakit kelenjar getah bening tanpa proses operasi serta biayanya sungguh murahtak menjebol kantong}.
Apa itu obat alami penyakit kelenjar getah bening tanpa efek merugikan untuk tubuh? Inilah ramuan alamiah ekstrak kulit buah manggis amazon Nature, Obat herbal Kanker kelenjar getah bening Obat amazon Plus merupakan sebuah obat herbal yang sudah terbukti ampuh dan kredibilitasnya dalam dunia medis, amazon Plus sudah terbukti dapat menyembuhkan kelenjar getah bening. amazon merupakan minuman obat alami yang telah mengantongi ijin resmi. amazon memiliki kandungan dari bahan dari alam yang berkhasiat. http://grosiramazonplus.com/obat-herbal-kanker-kelenjar-getah-bening/

Anonymous 20 July 2014 - 12:40pm / pakistan

Ndiaye and Dieng are following in the footsteps of African basketball legends such as Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutombo and Manute Bol. They are also changing the face of Senegalese basketball as they lead a new wave of African talent into the NBA.best laser printer for mac

Elechi Ifeanyi 18 November 2013 - 5:28am / Nigeria

Well done

Post new comment

Please be reminded all comments must be in English, short and to the point - guideline 250 words. Abusive and inappropriate comments will be removed.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p> <br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

FacebookTwitterYou tubeSoundcloud

Video highlights

Liza Kamizazi’s gift to Rwanda’s next generation
When Rwandan singer Liza Kamikazi was about to adopt a baby boy, she was...
My Song: N'kash the fearless albino rapper
For many people living with albinism the situation in some parts of Africa...
My Song: Facing the roaring lion
Yves Nzeyimana Kana, lead singer of Afro-rock band Trezzor from Rwanda,...