Why should you care about the 56th pick? These guys rarely make NBA teams, right?
Not this year, not with the Wizards.
And regardless, you should be intrigued by Hamady N’diaye, the man who is simply known as “H” wherever he goes. It’s easy to see what attracted the Wizards to N’diaye, he exemplifies Ted Leonsis’ “Business of Happiness” philosophy.
Growing up in Senegal, N’diaye didn’t find basketball as a serious outlet until around age 15, mostly playing soccer when he was young like Solomon Alabi and others from the African continent. But with height as a natural tool (he now measures 6’10.5″ without shoes with a 7’6″ wingspan — Saunders says he can touch about 12’7″ on the backboard), N’diaye saw an opportunity and jumped on it. He left his family and came to the U.S. at 16, by himself and speaking very little English, to pursue a career in basketball.
Going from the Life Center Academy in New Jersey, then to Florida Prep, where he and a couple friends/teammates from his home country had to literally escape from poor conditions in the middle of the night, and finally ending up at Stoneridge Prep in California, you could easily call making it to the NBA a long shot for N’diaye.
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