Mohamed Bamba

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Mohamed Bamba
20170329 MCDAAG Mohamed Bamba watches rebound.jpg
No. 5 – Orlando Magic
Personal information
Born (1998-05-12) May 12, 1998 (age 20)
Harlem, New York
Listed height7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight221 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school
CollegeTexas (2017–2018)
NBA draft2018 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6th overall
Selected by the Orlando Magic
Playing career2018–present
Career history
2018–presentOrlando Magic
Career highlights and awards

Mohamed Fakaba Bamba[1] (born May 12, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Texas Longhorns. He was highly regarded by scouts due to his 7 ft 10 in (2.39 m) wingspan. He attended Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, New Hampshire before transferring to Westtown School in West Chester, Pennsylvania and was considered one of the top high school prospects for the class of 2017.

Early life[edit]

Bamba was born on May 12, 1998 in Harlem, New York to Lancine Bamba and Aminata Bamba, who both emigrated from the Ivory Coast.[2][3][4] Bamba's grandparents were born and brought up in Mali.[3] His older brother, Sidiki Johnson, played college basketball at Arizona, Providence, and Wabash Valley.[5] Another member of his family, estranged half-brother Ibrahim Johnson, also played college basketball at multiple universities, including both Farmingdale State and Montevallo.[6][7] Bamba first became interested in basketball at age six, inspired by the game's popularity in his hometown.[3]

High school career[edit]

In eighth and ninth grade, Bamba attended Cardigan Mountain School, an all-boys boarding school in Canaan, New Hampshire.[3]

Before his sophomore year, Bamba transferred to Westtown School in Westtown, Pennsylvania.[3][8] As a junior he averaged 14 points, 11 rebounds, and six blocks per game. He played in the 2017 McDonald's All American Game and the Nike Hoop Summit.[9][10]

Bamba was rated as a five-star recruit and was ranked among the top recruits in his class.[11][12] His final four schools were Kentucky, Duke, Texas and Michigan.[13][14][15][16] Ultimately, Bamba chose to play for the University of Texas for his college career. Before playing a single game for Texas, his half-brother Ibrahim Johnson posted a 22-minute-long video on Facebook Live, talking about how there were some illegal benefits from a Michigan-based investor involved during the decision-making and that he was reporting the information to the NCAA.[17] However, the NCAA reported that nothing involved there would ultimately affect Bamba's eligibility for his freshman season.[18]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Mo Bamba
Harlem, N.Y. Westtown School 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) 216 lb (98 kg) May 18, 2017 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:5/5 stars   Rivals:5/5 stars   247Sports:5/5 stars    ESPN:5/5 stars   ESPN grade: 96
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 2, 1 (C)   Rivals: 2, 1 (C)  ESPN: 3, 2 (C), 1 (NY)
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


College career[edit]

Bamba made his official college debut on November 10, 2017 against Northwestern State, recording 15 points and 8 rebounds in a blowout win that night. Eight days later, he recorded 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 blocks in a blowout win against Lipscomb. On December 30, Bamba recorded a season-high 22 points, 15 rebounds, and 8 blocks in a loss to Kansas. On New Year's Day 2018, Bamba would record a then-season-high 16 rebounds with 10 points in a 74–70 overtime win over Iowa State. He would record a new career-high in points scored with 25 points scored with 15 rebounds in a 85–72 win over Ole Miss on January 27, 2018, five days after recording his previous high of 24 points in a win over Iowa State. On February 17, Bamba would record a new career-high of 18 rebounds with 10 points scored in a 77–66 win over #23 ranked Oklahoma, five days after tying his previous career-high of 16 rebounds with 16 points in a close 74–73 double overtime loss to Baylor. At the end of the regular season for Texas, Bamba was named a member of the Big 12's All-Newcomer Team and All-Defensive Team, as well as be named a member of the All-Big 12 Second Team. He averaged 12.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game.

Following Texas's loss in the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament to Nevada, Bamba announced his intention to forgo his final three seasons of collegiate eligibility and declare for the 2018 NBA draft, where he was expected to be a lottery selection.[19]

Professional career[edit]

At the 2018 NBA combine, Bamba measured near 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall and measured a 7 ft 10 in (2.39 m) wingspan, breaking the record that was previously held by current Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert.[20] At a private workout, Bamba reportedly ran faster than most of the NBA, including MVP Russell Westbrook, since he had a 3.04 3/4 court sprint.[21] Bamba refused to work out with the Memphis Grizzlies before the draft, and told them not to draft him.[22]

Orlando Magic (2018–present)[edit]

On June 21, 2018, Bamba was selected with the sixth overall pick by the Orlando Magic in the 2018 NBA draft.[23] On July 3, 2018, Bamba officially signed a rookie scale contract with the Magic.[24] Bamba played in his first NBA game during the preseason on October 1, 2018, recording 12 points and 3 rebounds.[25] He made his professional debut on October 17, 2018, recording 13 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks off the bench in a 104–101 win over the Miami Heat.[26]

Career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high


2017–18 Texas 29 28 30.2 .603 .280 .678 10.4 .5 .8 3.7 12.9

Personal life[edit]

During his time growing up in Harlem, he was friends with rapper Sheck Wes. Their relationship would eventually influence Sheck Wes' sleeper hit song named "Mo Bamba."[27]


  1. ^ "Official NBA bio of Mohamed Bamba |". Retrieved September 21, 2018. Full name is Mohamed Karlakwan Damala Bamba
  2. ^ "Mohamed Bamba". USA Basketball. April 11, 2017. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e Geoghegan, Neil (February 20, 2017). "Westtown star Mohamed Bamba tries to stay cool as spotlight grows brighter". PA Prep Live. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  4. ^ Slater, Andrew (July 7, 2016). "Blue Chip: 6'11" 2017 Five-Star Mohamed Bamba". Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  5. ^ Calle, Franklyn (August 4, 2016). "The World is His". Slam Online. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  6. ^ "Farmingdale State Athletics". Farmingdale State Athletics. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Exclusive: Elite Texas Commit Mo Bamba's Longtime Mentor Responds To Estranged Brother's Allegations". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Pa. basketball preview, big men: Westtown's Bamba is among nation's best". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Mo Bamba on McDonald's All American honor: 'It's an unreal experience. I'm in awe'". 18 January 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Bamba, Knox remain undecided heading into Hoop Summit heavy on UK recruits". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  11. ^ "". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Mohamed Bamba, Texas Longhorns, Power Forward". 247Sports. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  13. ^ "UK in 'good position' with five-star basketball recruit Mohamed Bamba". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Mohamed Bamba recruitment seems too close to call". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  15. ^ "UM target Mohamed Bamba taking his time with decision". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Hoophall Classic 2017 Prospects: Mohamed Bamba, Duke and Kentucky recruit, is top uncommitted player in Class of 2017". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Mohamed Bamba's brother alleges illegal benefits from Michigan-based investor". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Brother of prized Texas recruit Mohamed Bamba alleges NCAA violations involving financial advisor". 29 June 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Mohamed Bamba entering NBA draft after one season". Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  20. ^!?sort=WINGSPAN&dir=1
  21. ^
  22. ^ Owens, Jason (June 20, 2018). "Report: Mo Bamba refuses to work out for Grizzlies, tells them not to draft him". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  23. ^ "Mo Bamba, known for wingspan, joins Magic as sixth overall pick". June 21, 2018. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  24. ^ "Magic Sign Mohamed Bamba". Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  25. ^ Hays, Chris. "Magic fall to 76ers, Jonathan Isaac injured during new coach Steve Clifford's preseason debut". Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  26. ^ "Bamba, Gordon lead Magic over Heat 104-101". October 17, 2018. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  27. ^ Lamarre, Carl (September 10, 2018). "Sheck Wes & Mo Bamba Discuss Their Longtime Friendship & the Success of 'Mo Bamba'". Billboard. Retrieved September 27, 2018.

External links[edit]