Florida Prep Basketball Star Mbacke Diong Opts For University of Nevada, Las Vegas
By Jeanette Middleton // March 8, 2017
senior from Senegal heavily recruited
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Prep basketball star Mbacke Diong, a 6-foot-11 inch senior from Senegal, announced last Friday he will accept a full-scholarship to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
Mbacke has been heavily recruited this year by several top U.S. universities including Louisville, UConn and Pitt.
However on his first visit to UNLV he made the decision to accept Coach Marvin Menzies offer to join his team.
This special young man, who only recently turned 17, has achieved much in his short time at Florida Prep.
Arriving in the USA in the summer of 2016, he was unfamiliar with the American game, language and school system.
However, he now boasts a 3.52 GPA, speaks English fluently (along with his native French) and has achieved a presence both on court and off that gets him noticed.
His calm demeanor and Mbacke ‘zone’ ensure that regardless of the stress of the game he always appears to be in control.
Yet those students that live alongside him at Florida Prep will attest to his willingness to have fun, to ‘jump-shot’ with the smallest of students and to play ‘big brother’ to his fellow team-mates.
“He has something about him that makes people light up when they are around him,” says Florida Prep Varsity Basketball coach Julius Reid.
The decision to choose UNLV on his first visit was a surprise to many but Mbacke has very clear reasons.
“I liked everything I saw at UNLV, the staff, how they took care of their team. I saw two games while on campus,” said Mbacke.
“They cared about their players, ensuring they were fit and ate correctly — the food is also very good! The players’ connection with the coaches was very similar to Florida Prep: it has personality, a big family feel!”
“I will be studying Engineering there,” Mbacke went on to say.
“My classrooms, dorm, study hall and the gym are all close by. Everything I need is there.”
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