Photo courtesy of Position Sports/Nike.
By David Cordova
In the city, one of the many things that people are intrigued by is a player’s ability to throw down a dunk. Being able to dunk brings excitement to a basketball game and it gives a player instant credibility. A player is treated with God-like status after throwing down an insane dunk.
One player that has captured the minds and hearts of many in New York has been none other than Hamidou Diallo, one of the top recruits in the nation. Diallo, who is rated as the No. 10 recruit by publications such as Rivals, Scout & 24/7 Sports in the Class of 2017, is definitely a crowd attraction when he soars in the air.
The 6-foot-5 guard from the Corona section of Queens, NY, is one of the most explosive and electrifying players in his class and has plenty of college coaches from around the country salivating over his talent. “What makes me want to be successful is the drive of being great. Seeing all of the great athletes coming out of New York, I just want to be one of them.” Diallo says, “Just being from New York in general, it’s just a competitive place, we just play hard.”
Diallo started out his high school days at John Bowne High School in Flushing, Queens, and was one of the most emerging players in the PSAL “A” Division. In his sophomore year with the Wildcats, he averaged 17.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.7 rebounds. “When I went to John Bowne, I was there for my freshman and sophomore years, they were great years on the court and okay years in the classroom.”
The latter is why he decided to break out of New York and transfer into the place in which he has achieved success on the court, Putnam Science Academy in Putnam, Connecticut, which boasts one of the best basketball programs in the New England area, and is the alma mater of Dayton University senior and fellow New Yorker, Dayshon “Scoochie” Smith, of the Bronx. “I just decided to leave and better myself. I became a better person on & off the court and my game has matured so much since coming out to Putnam Science Academy.”
Also helping to aid in Diallo’s development was the New York Jayhawks, which rose to prominence within the last couple of years without playing on a top-flight AAU circuit, until the spring of 2015, when they picked up a sponsorship with the Under Armour Association. And that’s where the legend of Hamidou Diallo started to grow.
“Playing in the Under Armour Association was a great experience.” said Diallo. “It was very competitive and very tough and it was a great circuit.” Although it was a tough summer for the Jayhawks, Diallo’s play made his presence felt throughout the country and plenty of offers started to roll in from major Division I colleges. But the best was yet to come.
After a successful junior season at Putnam Science, Diallo shocked many by switching his AAU allegiance to the New York Rens as they joined the Nike EYBL circuit. Diallo made the most of the new opportunity on that circuit, as he led the Rens to an 8-8 record through four sessions and a berth at the prestigious Nike Peach Jam event in North Augusta, South Carolina, in which they made it to the Elite Eight of the tournament. Individually, he averaged 19.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game on what is arguably the best AAU circuit in the country.
On his summer in the Nike EYBL, Diallo had this to say, “The best players were on that circuit and I wanted to play against the best players for my last summer. It was a great circuit, great teams and a great experience overall.”
His performance also led him to appearances at events such as the Pangos All-American Camp, CP3 Elite Point Guard Camp, in which he was under the tutelage of NBA All-Star guard Chris Paul, the U18 USA Basketball team that played in Chile in June, in which he was a part of a squad that won a gold-medal, the Nike Basketball Academy, Adidas Nations and a second straight appearance at the Under Armour Elite 24 in Brooklyn, NY.
When Diallo wasn’t out of town, he was wowing crowds in New York at venues such as the Lincoln Park Classic in South Ozone Park, Queens, the Dyckman Tournament in Inwood and last, but not least, the Tri-State Classic, in Harlem. It was in those type of events in which he was treated like a rock-star.
At the Alimoe Day event at Tri-State on August 7th, he single-handedly ended the game with a dunk that had the crowds going wild and led to the cancellation of the game, even though there was less than 10 minutes left. Once, he took off his jersey, fans played a game of tug-of-war over it.
And then, there was the Unlimited NYC Nike event on August 23rd at the Kingdome court in Harlem, which added to his name. In that game, he scored 47 points, most of them on death-defying dunks, bring the crowd to its feet once again.
Although he is known as a dunker, even he admits that there are certain parts of his game that he wants to improve at. “My strengths are just how competitive I am on both sides of the court, defensively and offensively. My weaknesses is becoming a leader.”
In regards to his recruitment, he has not made a final list as of yet, but many schools have offered, including four that are very high on his list: UConn, Kentucky, Kansas and Duke, according to 24/7 Sports.
Diallo graduated from Putnam Science back in May, but will be returning for a post-graduate year, to lead the Mustangs to another great season. Whatever college he goes to, will be getting a thoroughbred of a player. If he continues to develop his skills and also keeps adding to his stock, there is no telling that he will be a pro in the next couple of years. Every day, the legend of Hamidou Diallo continues to grow.
Highlights of Hamidou Diallo:
Courtesy of Courtside Films.
Courtesy of GD’s Misc.
Courtesy of RI Affiliated.
Courtesy of Next Best Basketball Squad.
Courtesy of Crossover TV.
Courtesy of BallisLife.
Courtesy of Hoop Journey.
Courtesy of NJ Hoop Recruit.
Courtesy of Primetime Hoops.
Courtesy of Home Team Hoops.
Courtesy of Hoop Journey.