Tacko Fall

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Tacko Fall
Fall with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2021
No. 99 – Nanjing Monkey Kings
Personal information
Born (1995-12-10) December 10, 1995 (age 27)
Dakar, Senegal
Listed height7 ft 6 in (2.29 m)
Listed weight311 lb (141 kg)
Career information
High school
CollegeUCF (2015–2019)
NBA draft2019: undrafted
Playing career2019–present
Career history
20192021Boston Celtics
2019–2020Maine Red Claws
2021–2022Cleveland Cavaliers
2021–2022Cleveland Charge
2022Cleveland Charge
2022–2023Xinjiang Flying Tigers
2023–Nanjing Monkey Kings
Career highlights and awards
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at Basketball-Reference.com

Elhadji Tacko Sereigne Diop Fall (born December 10, 1995) is a Senegalese professional basketball player for the Nanjing Monkey Kings of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).

Fall was born and raised in Dakar, Senegal. He moved to the United States at age 16 and later played college basketball for the University of Central Florida (UCF). Fall went undrafted in the 2019 NBA draft, but later signed with the Boston Celtics. During his two seasons in Boston, he became a fan favorite.[1] He signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers as a free agent in 2021.[2]

At 7 feet 6 inches (2.29 metres), Fall was one of the tallest NBA players and is one of the tallest living humans.[3][4] At the 2019 NBA Draft Combine, his measurements set all-time NBA records for tallest height in shoes (7 ft 7 in; 2.31 m), longest wingspan (8 ft 2.25 in; 250 cm), and highest standing reach (10 ft 2.5 in; 3.11 m).[5] The NBA now lists players' heights without shoes, so Fall is listed at 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m).[6][7]

Early life[edit]

Fall was born and raised in Dakar, Senegal. In 2011, Senegalese basketball coach Ibrahima N'Diaye, the brother of former NBA player Mamadou N'Diaye, heard from a friend about an exceptionally tall teenager he had seen playing with friends in a local street.[8] After identifying him, they visited the 15-year-old Fall—who already stood 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m) tall—at his home and persuaded Fall's mother, Marianne Diop Sene, to allow Fall to start attending N'Diaye's basketball academy.[8] Fall moved to the United States at age 16. He first played organized basketball in Houston, Texas, and trained with NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon.[9]

He was listed as 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m) and was purportedly still growing around his senior year, making him the tallest high school basketball player in the country while he played for Jamie's House Charter and Liberty Christian Prep.[10]

Due to his height and reach, Fall was one of the most highly scouted high school basketball centers in the nation.[citation needed] Fall first played for Jamie's House Charter School in Houston, where his team won the state championship. Fall played with ISTI all-stars summer travel team & for Each 1 Teach 1 on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit where he played alongside fellow class of 2015 recruits Antonio Blakeney and Ben Simmons.[11] He also played in several NCAA certified events, including the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Virginia.[12] Fall then attended Liberty Christian Preparatory School in Tavares, Florida. As a senior in 2015, Fall averaged 20 points, 15 rebounds, and 5.1 blocks per game. Rated as a four-star and three-star recruit in the 2015 high school class[13][14][15] and nearly forty different schools expressing interest in him,[10] Fall committed to the University of Central Florida in Orlando, who officially signed him on October 28, 2014. He played with the UCF Knights under head coach Donnie Jones.[16]

College career[edit]

Fall at UCF in 2017

Fall played college basketball at University of Central Florida for Knights as a center. He faced fellow giant Senegalese center Mamadou N'Diaye (unrelated to the former NBA player of the same name), who stands at 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m), in the tallest tip-off and match-up in US college basketball history in a game against University of California Irvine. Both men come from the same city, Dakar. By his sophomore year, after N'Diaye declared for the 2016 NBA draft, Fall became the tallest player in college basketball. During his sophomore season, Fall would make considerable improvements in his playing style.[citation needed] In 2017, Fall was named American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.[17]

Fall grew to be an efficient player, ranking second nationally in field goal percentage as of January 2017.[18] On April 5, 2017, Fall declared for the 2017 NBA draft, with the possibility of returning to Central Florida still available to him before the end of the draft lottery that year.[19][20] On May 24, 2017, Fall withdrew his name from consideration for the NBA draft, to return to UCF for his junior year.[21] During his junior year, Fall injured his shoulder,[22] causing him to only play in 16 games, totaling 351 minutes.[23] Coming into his senior season, Fall was named to the Preseason Second Team All-AAC. During his senior season, Fall helped lead the Knights to the 2019 NCAA tournament and secured their first victory in program history with a win over Virginia Commonwealth University.[24] In his final game, Fall recorded 15 points and six rebounds in a losing effort against Duke University 77–76.[25]

Professional career[edit]

After the conclusion of his senior year, Fall was named one of 80 participants (40 representing the NBA draft hopefuls) for the NBA G League Elite Camp on May 12–14.[26] By the end of the event, Fall later got transferred into the NBA Draft Combine as one of an additional 11 participants there.[27] During the combine, he put up new records at the event, including height (which received comparisons to former NBA player Manute Bol),[28] wingspan, and standing reach.[29]

Boston Celtics (2019–2021)[edit]

Despite going undrafted in the 2019 NBA draft, Fall was signed to an Exhibit 10 Contract on June 21, 2019, by the Boston Celtics.[30][31] Fall played for the Celtics during the 2019 NBA Summer League season,[32] scoring six points in his first game alongside four rebounds; in his second game he tallied twelve points for his first double-digit scoring game, alongside another rebound. He had one blocked shot in each of his first two games.[33] Fall concluded his 2019 Summer League run participating in all five games with the Celtics and averaging 7.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, and shooting a team-high 77 percent from the field.[34]

On July 25, 2019, the Celtics officially announced that they had signed Fall.[35] On October 13, 2019, the Celtics officially announced that they had signed Fall to a two-way contract, splitting time between the Celtics and Maine Red Claws.[36] Fall made his debut for the Celtics on October 26 during a game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. He played for four minutes, scoring four points and grabbing three rebounds, with his first points coming from a standing dunk.[37] On December 20, Fall recorded a season-high five points, along with two rebounds and one block, in a 114–93 win over the Detroit Pistons.[38] On August 13, 2020, he logged season-highs of four rebounds and two blocks in a 90–96 loss to the Washington Wizards.[39] Fall led the Celtics in field goal percentage during the 2019–20 season.

In the G League for the Red Claws, Fall averaged a double-double of 12.9 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. He earned All-Defensive Team honors, with averages of nearly three blocks per game.[40][41]

On November 23, 2020, Fall re-signed with the Boston Celtics on a two-way contract, allowing him to play for the Celtics and Maine Red Claws in the 2020–21 season.[42][43] On December 30, he made his season debut for the Celtics, recording two points, one rebound and two blocks in a 126–107 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.[44] On January 15, 2021, Fall logged a season-high six points, along with five rebounds and one block, in a 124–97 blowout win over the Orlando Magic.[45] On May 5, he recorded a season-high four blocks in a 132–96 blowout win over the Orlando Magic.[46] On May 16, he grabbed a season-high eight rebounds in a 92–96 loss to the New York Knicks.[47] Despite being under a two-way contract, Fall never played in the G League during the 2020–21 season due to the Red Claws not playing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[48] He also led the Celtics in field goal percentage for the second season in a row.

Cleveland Cavaliers (2021–2022)[edit]

On September 27, 2021, Fall signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers.[2] On October 16, his deal was converted to a two-way contract with the Cleveland Charge.[49] On November 11, Fall made his debut for the Charge, logging a G League career-high 23 points along with 12 rebounds and three blocks in 29 minutes of play.[50] On December 22, Fall made his first career NBA start in a 111–101 loss to the Boston Celtics, where he grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds and a season-high 4 points. On January 9, 2022, he was waived by the Cavaliers.[51]

Cleveland Charge (2022)[edit]

On January 12, 2022, Fall was re-acquired by the Cleveland Charge.[52]

Xinjiang Flying Tigers (2022–2023)[edit]

On August 24, 2022, Fall signed a one-year contract to play for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association.[53]

On June 30, 2023, Fall was signed to the Milwaukee Bucks’ summer league roster.[54][55]

Nanjing Monkey Kings[edit]

On August 17, 2023, Fall signed with the Nanjing Monkey Kings. [56]

Player profile[edit]

Given his size, Fall plays the center position. His shoe size is 22 and his wingspan is 8 ft 4 in (2.54 m)[57] and a standing reach of 10 ft 2 in (3.10 m).[18] He also has a max vertical leap of 2 ft 2.5 in (0.67 m). Fall's hands measure at 10.5 inches in length and width.[58]

Going into the 2019 NBA draft, Fall was viewed as a great shot blocker who was relatively lacking in lane agility and three-quarter-court sprinting speed.[59]

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



Regular season[edit]

2019–20 Boston 7 0 4.7 .786 .333 2.1 .1 .1 .6 3.3
2020–21 Boston 19 0 7.2 .724 .333 2.7 .2 .1 1.1 2.5
2021–22 Cleveland 11 1 5.4 .417 .286 2.1 .2 .0 .5 1.1
Career 37 1 6.2 .673 .320 2.4 .2 .1 .8 2.2


2020 Boston 2 0 1.5 1.000 .500 .5 .0 .0 .0 1.5
2021 Boston 1 0 1.0 1.0 .0 .0 .0 .0
Career 3 0 1.3 1.000 .500 .7 .0 .0 .0 1.0


2015–16 UCF 30 26 17.6 .750 .558 5.9 .3 .1 2.3 7.4
2016–17 UCF 36 36 26.3 .715 .000 .462 9.5 .6 .3 2.6 10.9
2017–18 UCF 16 15 21.9 .767 .460 7.3 .3 .3 1.9 11.3
2018–19 UCF 32 32 24.9 .750 .363 7.7 .5 .3 2.6 11.0
Career 115 110 23.0 .740 .000 .432 7.7 .4 .2 2.4 10.1

Personal life[edit]

Fall is a Muslim,[3] and selected the jersey number 99 with the Celtics as a reference to the 99 Names of Allah.[61] He is not the only tall member of his family; his younger brother was reportedly 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) at age 7, while two of his uncles are 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m), but his extreme height stands apart even among them.[citation needed] He maintained a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) in high school,[62] while taking advanced mathematics and science classes. He became fluent in English within eight months and scored in the 95th percentile on the SAT. He was a computer science major at UCF[18] and originally had aspirations of becoming an engineer for electronic companies such as Siemens or Microsoft.[3]


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  2. ^ a b "Cavaliers Add Four to Training Camp Roster". NBA.com. 27 September 2021. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "The rise of 7–6 (and growing) Tacko Fall". Yahoo Sports. 16 December 2014.
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  19. ^ Romero, Iliana Limón. "Tacko Fall to test NBA Draft waters with option to return to UCF". OrlandoSentinel.com. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
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  24. ^ Groeschen, Tom. "Cincinnati Bearcats edged out for 1st place in AAC men's basketball Media Day poll". Cincinnati.com. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
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  28. ^ Diven, Keely (16 May 2019). "Tacko Fall breaks official records, measures up to Manute Bol at NBA Draft Combine". NBC Sports Washington. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
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  30. ^ Armstrong, Megan. "Celtics Sign Tacko Fall to Contract as Undrafted Free Agent After 2019 Draft". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  31. ^ "Tacko Fall: Tallest active NBA player bids for success in debut season". BBC Sport. 7 October 2019.
  32. ^ King, Jay (9 July 2019). "Celtics' Tacko Fall has become the main attraction at NBA Summer League". The Athletic.
  33. ^ D'Amico, Marc (9 July 2019). "It's Tacko Everyday in Vegas, As Fall's Showing He Belongs". NBA.com. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  34. ^ "NBA Summer League Stats". NBA.com. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  35. ^ "Celtics Sign Four Players". Boston Celtics. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  36. ^ Wojnarowski, Adrian (13 October 2019). "Celtics convert rookie Tacko Fall to two-way contract". ESPN.com. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  37. ^ Edwards Jr., Scott (26 October 2019). "Celtics' Tacko Fall Scores First NBA Points On Standing Dunk vs. Knicks". NESN. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  38. ^ "Detroit Pistons vs Boston Celtics Dec 20, 2019 Game Summary". NBA. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  39. ^ "Washington Wizards vs Boston Celtics Aug 13, 2020 Game Summary". NBA. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  40. ^ Vitale, Josh (6 April 2020). "Auburn's Bryce Brown confident more opportunities are coming after 'fun' first season in NBA G League". Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  41. ^ D'Amico, Marc (26 June 2020). "G League Honors Highlight Development by Waters, Fall in Maine". Boston Celtics.
  42. ^ Doxy, Andrew (23 November 2020). "Report: Tacko Fall re-signs with the Celtics on a two-way contract". Celtics Blog. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  43. ^ Quinn, Sam (23 November 2020). "NBA free agency: Celtics re-sign Tacko Fall on two-way deal, per report". CBSSPORTS. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  44. ^ "Memphis Grizzlies vs Boston Celtics Dec 30, 2020 Game Summary". NBA. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  45. ^ "Orlando Magic vs Boston Celtics Jan 15, 2021 Game Summary". NBA. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  46. ^ "Boston Celtics vs Orlando Magic May 5, 2021 Game Summary". NBA. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  47. ^ "Boston Celtics vs New York Knicks May 16, 2021 Game Summary". NBA. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  48. ^ "In The End, Tacko Fall Never Had Enough Time With The Boston Celtics". Forbes. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  49. ^ "Cavaliers Convert the Contracts of Tacko Fall and RJ Nembhard into Two-way Contracts". NBA.com. 16 October 2021. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  50. ^ "Charge Nab First Cleveland Win at Home". Cleveland Charge. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  51. ^ "Cavaliers Convert Brandon Goodwin to Two-Way Contract". NBA. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  52. ^ "Cleveland Charge re-signs C Tacko Fall". WKYC. 12 January 2022. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  53. ^ "Three-year NBA veteran Tacko Fall is signing a one-year deal in the Chinese Basketball Association with Xinjiang, per sources". Twitter. Retrieved 16 October 2022.
  54. ^ What to know about the Milwaukee Bucks Summer League team, schedule
  55. ^ Ex-Celtics Fan Favorite Joining Bucks Summer League Roster
  56. ^ Thompson, Khari (17 August 2023). "Tacko Fall will reportedly sign with a new team in China". Boston.com. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  57. ^ Auerbach, Nicole (11 January 2017). "Tacko Fall finds his footing for UCF, with room to grow as a player". USA Today. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  58. ^ "Draft Combine Anthrometric". NBA Stats. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  59. ^ "Draft Combine Agility". NBA Stats. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  60. ^ "Tacko Fall". Basketball Reference. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  61. ^ @celtics (24 October 2019). "Let's 🌮bout @tackofall99 ⤵️" (Tweet). Retrieved 26 October 2019 – via Twitter.
  62. ^ "Tacko Fall Bio". UCF Knights. Archived from the original on 14 August 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015.

External links[edit]