What a journey it has been for Virginia’s junior Mamadi Diakite.
Phenom Hoop Report has watched this young man grow into the player he is today, the one that has played a huge role for his team and now has hit one of the biggest shots in Virginia’s history, sending them to the 2019 Final Four.
The growth of Diakite’s game has been impressive from when we first saw him, as he has put in the work to become the player he is today.
This season alone, Diakite has averaged 7.5 points and 4.3 rebounds for Virginia but has stepped up his game even more in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, averaging 13 points and 9 rebounds. He has now topped his career off so far with one of the biggest shots against Purdue, eventually sending the Cavaliers into overtime.
It reminded us at Phenom Hoops the first time we were able to really watch his growth and development at the Virginia Top 80 back in 2015 when we said this:
“What else is there to say about Mamadi? This big man is a star in the making! After scouting Diakite early last year, his progression has skyrocketed and he has developed into one of 2016’s best players. He has tremendous speed and hops to jump out of the gym. Diakite showed he can dribble out of tough situation, distribute the ball evenly, and score when needed. Dunk after dunk, point after point, Diakite never showed any signs of mercy and punished defenders all day long. After Sunday’s top-notch performance, Diakite earned MVP honors and completely stunned the competition.”
Now, Diakite and Virginia will be on the biggest stage in Minneapolis, as the Cavaliers look to take a championship.