Diakite is a Name to Know

Mamadi Diakite

Mamadi Diakite is a name to know in the 2016 class. The St. George (Va.) Blue Ridge School forward moved to the United States in January, and is quickly getting attention. Scout.com caught up with Diakite at the Southern Jam Fest this weekend.

Mamadi Diakite might be new to the scene and even the United States, but the 2016 power forward is certainly not someone who can miss. The St. George (Va.) Blue Ridge School playmaker stands at 6-foot-9, 185 pounds and is hardly someone you can ignore.

Diakite moved to America from Guinea in January, where he enrolled at the Blue Ridge School and quickly began to get noticed. He was named First Team in the All-Virginia Independent Conference Division I boys basketball team and will now play AAU basketball with Boo Williams.

His first tournament with the AAU squad was this weekend at the Hoop Group Southern Jam Fest in Hampton, Virginia.

"I liked it we play hard, we practice hard too. It is very different than high school games. I am able to improve my play."

Diakite, a former top soccer player in his native Guinea, has adjusted well on the court and has seen some improvements already in his short time in the USA.

"I have improved. I have learned more from before. In defense, I know how to play better now than I did before."

"He's a twig, no doubt," said Scout.com's National Recruiting Analyst Rob Harrington after watching Diakite over the weekend. "But Diakite is a very fluid performer who possesses quick reflexes and excellent speed…(He) has adapted to the American style of play, combating others' strength advantages with a frequent edge in athleticism."

With speed and size, his raw talent is not going unnoticed by college programs. Diakite who has caught the attention from several college coaches including: Virginia Commonwealth and Georgetown, . The Cavaliers were among the first to notice his talents.

"UVa is a good place for history and basketball, and if you want to be a superstar too," he said. Diakite was able to see the Virginia first hand, as he saw the ‘Hoos beat Syracuse for the ACC regular season title. "That was amazing, that was my first ( game )in the USA. It was really, really good."

Diakite says he has a very close relationship with UVa assistant Ron Sanchez, who has seen the forward play this high school season, and Virginia's head coach Tony Bennett.

For right now Diakite remains busy at Blue Ridge, showing his athleticism once for the Barons' track and field team, where he has already broken the school's record in high jump after jumping 6-feet-6inches. He never tried track before he moved to the United States.

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