Hakeem Olajuwon was a revolutionary center because of his remarkable athleticism and quickness for a big man, but he also did something else: ever since he showed up here, American scouts have pored over Africa looking for the next one.
|If you shop Amazon, please start here and help DBR|
Small bit of history that'd be hard to track down now and we may not remember it entirely correctly: the guy who first saw Olajuwon's potential was the brother of Nick Pond, who used to work for WRAL.
Pond's brother was in the Peace Corps and supposedly recommended Olajuwon to then-State coach Norm Sloan....who wasn't interested.
Everything else aside, that would have put Olajuwon, Ralph Sampson and Sam Perkins in the ACC at more or less the same time.
Anyway, scouts have been up and down Africa looking for someone else like Olajuwon. Tacko Fall probably isn't that guy, but he is 7-5 and he can grab the rim flatfooted, and he's just a junior.
The best thing about African kids, though, is that most of them have come to the US with a completely different worldview, and are very serious about their education.
That's the case for Fall, too, who would like to play professional basketball, but who has another more serious ambition: he wants to be a biochemist.