Blue Ridge (St. George, VA) class of 2016 power forward/center Mamadi Diakite revealed at last week’s NBPA Top 100 Camp when he plans to make his college commitment.
“I’ll definitely [make] a decision before the end of the summer,” Diakite said.
When he commits, Diakite said, “It’s going to be definite. I’m not going to de-commit.”
Accompanied by his parents, who made the trek from their home country of Guinea to the United States, Diakite took official visits to Southern Cal, Washington and Virginia this spring. As of now, those schools are the top contenders.
“I have three major schools right now that I have to decide between. I have UVa, USC, and Washington, but I still got more offers. There are some schools who are asking me to take more visits. I’m thinking about it with my parents and my guardian, so we’re not quite on a decision yet,” Diakite said.
Asked if any of the three had an edge, Diakite replied: “I like all of them, but I don’t just know yet where I’m going.”
Diakite listed Georgetown, Indiana, Louisville, Providence, San Diego, SMU and Syracuse as the other schools vying for his talents. Whether it is determining if he will take more visits or the college he will attend, the 6’9” rising senior is leaning on his parents and his advisor in the US, fellow Guinea native Hassan Fofana, for guidance in the recruiting process.
“[Fofana] plays like 40-percent and my parents have 50 and I have like 10,” Diakite said, putting a percentage on who has the most input in his college decision. “I’m new here, so I’m still learning and I’ve got to be listening to them and get more experiences about what to do in a new country.”
UVa was the first major school to offer Diakite, with Tony Bennett extending the scholarship following Virginia’s Elite Camp last August. Diakite admits he works out often in Charlottesville along with UVa players, mentioning Anthony Gill, Malcolm Brogdon and Mike Tobey specifically. He has gotten to know UVa’s Grounds well and he has developed a good relationship with UVa’s coaches.
“(Ron) Sanchez, Tony (Bennett)… I talk to everyone,” Diakite said. “I have a great relationship. They’re the first school I’ve got an offer from. I’m not saying they’re the best or whatever, but I feel like they have a close relationship towards me.”
Virginia Episcopal School (Lynchburg, VA) rising senior forward Sacha Killeya-Jones is a friend of Diakite’s. At one point, Killeya-Jones was working on recruiting the big-time athlete to Charlottesville. Killeya-Jones has now reopened his recruitment, and Diakite was asked if this has an impact on his decision.
“Not really. I was just surprised,” Diakite said. “I thought he decided to be a UVa player. It was surprising that he decommitted. I wish him the best. He’s a brother. We compete against each other, but we talk a lot. I wish him the best luck and I want him to be successful.”
Whether it is the Nike EYBL circuit, the Phenom Hoops Report Virginia Top 80, the Pangos All-American Event in California or the NBPA Top 100, Diakite has had a good showing this spring. He gives credit for his development to his teammates.
“We play like brothers. We’re not playing selfish. You’re not going to see any selfishness,” Diakite said.
Below are highlights of Diakite at the Virginia Top 80 as well as highlights of his performance in a win at VES last season.