Mohamed Bamba isn’t your regular NBA draft prospect, no way.
Bamba is one of the most exciting and physically imposing college players in recent memory.
Born and raised in Harlem, but coming from a Mali family, Mo finally let the world know where he would be playing college ball next season, committing to the Texas Longhorns over Duke, Kentucky and Michigan last week as the number three recruit in the nation.
Once you see what Bamba looks like, it’s not hard to fathom why he’s the third best recruit in the country.
As you can see from the picture above, Mo’s arms are extremely long, like, record-breaking long.
The longest wingspan measurement in the DraftExpress database is held by Mamadou Ndiaye, a former UC-Irvine center who stood at 7’6 with an 8’1 wingspan. Ndiaye went undrafted last season and has yet to play an NBA game.
Bamba’s most recent measurements at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit sat at a 7’9 wingspan with a 9’6 standing reach. He has a half-inch in wingspan on Rudy Gobert and two inches on Shaquille O’Neal and Hassan Whiteside.
That’s not to mention he hasn’t played a single college game yet, and is bound to continue growing on his way to being a top-5 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
He averaged 4 blocks per 40 minutes across his high school career against national opponents, and should be sending a ton more shots back while playing for Texas in the Big 12.
Here are some more quick facts about Mo before he makes his mark in college and eventually the NBA:
- He originally attended a boarding school in New Hampshire before transferring out to Westtown in Pennsylvania. Westtown — which had been around since 1799 — had never won a state title in any sport before Bamba came around. That changed quickly.
- With Bamba, Westtown won a state title the past two years. As a senior, Bamba averaged 14 points, 12 rebounds, and eight blocks per game while leading the Moose to a 32-2 record.
- Westtown wasn’t just the Mo Bamba show. It also had a top-50 recruit in Arizona-bound swingman Brandon Randolph and also wing Cameron Reddish, a top-five recruit in the class of 2018.
- Basketball runs in Bamba’s family. His brother Sidiki Johnson was a top-100 recruit out of the class of 2011 who committed to Arizona when Sean Miller first took the job in Tucson. He has another brother who played at the NAIA level.
- Another Bamba fun fact: he read and enjoyed “Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA” by Ben Strauss and Joe Nocera. Cool.
The league better watch out in 2018.