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Tacko Fall

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Tacko Fall
UConn @ UCF (32807528326) (cropped).jpg
Fall with UCF
No. 55 – Boston Celtics
PositionCenter
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born (1995-12-10) December 10, 1995 (age 23)
Dakar, Senegal
NationalitySenegalese
Listed height7 ft 7 in (2.31 m)
Listed weight289 lb (131 kg)
Career information
High school
CollegeUCF (2015–2019)
NBA draft2019 / Undrafted
Playing career2019–present
Career history
2019–presentBoston Celtics
Career highlights and awards
  • Third-team All-AAC (2019)
  • AAC Defensive Player of the Year (2017)

Elhadji Tacko Sereigne Diop Fall (born December 10, 1995) is a Senegalese professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Born and raised in Dakar, Senegal, he moved to the United States at age 16, and played college basketball for the University of Central Florida. Fall went undrafted in the 2019 NBA draft, but later signed a deal with the Boston Celtics.

At 7 ft 7 in (2.31 m) tall, Fall is one of the tallest living humans.[1][2] When measured at the 2019 NBA Draft Combine, Fall set all-time NBA records for tallest height in shoes (7 ft 7 in, 2.31 m), largest wingspan (8 ft 2.25 in, 250 cm), and highest standing reach (10 ft 2.5 in, 3.11 m).[3]

Early life

Born and raised in Senegal, Fall moved to the United States from Dakar at age 16. Initially, he played soccer and had no interest in basketball. Fall visited the International Sports Training Institute at Dakar, known as ISTI-Dakar. He first played organized basketball in Houston, Texas, and trained with NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon.[4]

Fall was 7 ft 7 in (2.31 m) and was reportedly 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.[5] Due to his height and reach, Fall was one of the most highly scouted high school basketball centers in the country.[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. He played in several NCAA certified events.[citation needed] Fall then attended Liberty Christian Preparatory School in Tavares, Florida. With nearly forty different schools expressing interest in him,[5] Fall committed to the University of Central Florida in Orlando, who had officially signed him on October 28, 2014. He would play with the UCF Knights under head coach Donnie Jones.[6]

College

Fall attended the University of Central Florida and played for the Knights as a center. He faced fellow giant Senegalese center Mamadou N'Diaye, who stands at 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m), in the tallest tip-off and match-up in U.S. college basketball history in a game against UC Irvine. Both from Dakar, it was N'Diaye's brother, Ibrahim, who persuaded Fall to take up basketball.[7] By his sophomore year, Fall became the tallest player in college basketball after N'Diaye declared for the 2016 NBA draft. 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.[8] Fall grew to be an efficient player, ranking second nationally in field goal percentage as of January 2017.[9] 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.[10][11] On May 24, 2017, Fall withdrew his name from consideration for the NBA draft, to return to UCF for his junior year.[12] During his junior year, Fall injured his shoulder,[13] causing him to only play in 16 games, totaling 351 minutes.[14] 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 NCAA Tournament and secured their first victory in program history with a win over VCU.[15] In his final game, Fall recorded 15 points and six rebounds in a losing effort against Duke 77–76.[16]

Professional career

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.[17] By the end of the event, Fall later got transferred into the NBA Draft Combine as one of an additional 11 participants there.[18] During the combine, he put up new records at the event, including height (which received comparisons to former NBA player Manute Bol),[19] wingspan, and standing reach.[20]

Despite going undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft, Fall was signed to an Exhibit 10 Contract on June 21, 2019 by the Boston Celtics.[21] Fall played for the Celtics during the 2019 NBA Summer League season,[22] 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.[23] 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.[24]

Player profile

Given his size, Fall plays the center position. His shoe size is 22 and he has large hands with a wingspan of 8 ft 4 in (2.54 m)[25] and a standing reach of 10 ft 2 in (3.10 m).[9]

Career statistics

College

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
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

Source:[14]

Personal life

Fall is a devout Muslim.[1] He maintained a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) in high school,[26] while taking advanced mathematics and science classes. He became fluent in English within 8 months and scored in the 95th percentile on the SAT. A computer science major at UCF,[9] Fall has aspirations of becoming an engineer for electronic companies such as Siemens or Microsoft, which currently makes a future in professional basketball unclear.[1] Fall 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]

References

  1. ^ a b c "The rise of 7-6 (and growing) Tacko Fall". Yahoo Sports. December 16, 2014.
  2. ^ "Tacko Fall Measures at 7'7", 289 Lbs at 2019 NBA Draft Scouting Combine". bleacherreport.com.
  3. ^ "Tacko Fall headlines 2019 NBA Draft Combine measurements". NBA.com. May 19, 2019. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  4. ^ "Mastering the Rebound - Pegasus Magazine". Pegasus Magazine. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "UCF signs 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall, America's tallest high school basketball player". Orlando Sentinel. November 12, 2014.
  6. ^ "Tacko Fall". ESPN.
  7. ^ "Tacko Fall and Mamadou N'Diaye faced off Wednesday for the tallest head-to-head matchup in college basketball history". Washington Post.
  8. ^ Green, Shannon. "Tacko Fall wins AAC defensive player of year". Orlando Sentinel.
  9. ^ a b c Borzello, Jeff (January 18, 2017). "There's more to UCF's Tacko Fall than his 7-foot-6 frame". ABC News.
  10. ^ Romero, Iliana Limón. "Tacko Fall to test NBA Draft waters with option to return to UCF". OrlandoSentinel.com. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  11. ^ "UCF 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall to explore NBA draft options". Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  12. ^ "Tacko Fall to Return to UCF for Junior Season". UCFKnights.com. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  13. ^ Green, Shannon (January 20, 2018). "Tacko Fall is out for rest of UCF basketball season". OrlandoSentinel.com. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Tacko Fall College Stats | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com". College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  15. ^ Groeschen, Tom. "Cincinnati Bearcats edged out for 1st place in AAC men's basketball Media Day poll". Cincinnati.com. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  16. ^ Bernstein, Dan (March 24, 2019). "Tacko Fall impacts Zion Williamson, but Duke wins tight March Madness battle". Sporting News.
  17. ^ "80 players expected to attend 2019 NBA G League Elite Camp". NBA.com. May 6, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  18. ^ "Tacko Fall among 11 players added to NBA draft combine". USA TODAY. May 15, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  19. ^ Diven, Keely (May 16, 2019). "Tacko Fall breaks official records, measures up to Manute Bol at NBA Draft Combine". NBC Sports Washington. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  20. ^ "Tacko Fall headlines 2019 NBA Draft Combine measurements". NBA.com. May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  21. ^ https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2836642-celtics-sign-tacko-fall-to-contract-as-undrafted-free-agent-after-2019-draft
  22. ^ Jay King (July 9, 2019). "Celtics' Tacko Fall has become the main attraction at NBA Summer League". The Athletic.
  23. ^ {Marc D'Amico (July 9, 2019). "It's Tacko Everyday in Vegas, As Fall's Showing He Belongs". NBA.com.
  24. ^ https://www.nba.com/summerleague/2019/stats?team=celtics&league=vegas
  25. ^ Auerbach, Nicole (January 11, 2017). "Tacko Fall finds his footing for UCF, with room to grow as a player". USA Today.
  26. ^ "Tacko Fall Bio". UCF Knights. Archived from the original on August 14, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2015.

External links