Amongst the historic senior class that will be leaving this year due to graduation, junior center Mamadou Ndiaye has filed his papers and will have the option to enter the NBA Draft to pursue a professional career in basketball. Ndiaye would be the tallest prospect entering the draft with his 7’6 frame and 8’1 wingspan.
The product out of Senegal notched two Big West Defensive Player of the Year awards, in 2014 and 2016, during his time at UCI and is also the ‘Eaters’ all-time leader in blocked shots with 218. Ndiaye was also named as a member of the Big West all-first team, averaging 12 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks in the 2015-2016 campaign.
Ndiaye filed his paperwork on Thursday and will have until May 25th to decide whether to continue with the draft process or return to play his senior year. According to head coach Russell Turner, Ndiaye will remain taking classes during spring quarter while participating in NBA draft workouts. Ndiaye sat down with coach Turner in the past two days and decided to feel out the process of the Draft without an agent. By continuing the process of declaring for the Draft without an agent, Ndiaye is allowed eligibility to play his final year at UCI if he decides to back out by May 25th.
“What Mamadou is doing is positioning himself to workout with scouts and NBA teams and the people in Irvine, and [myself], should be supportive in his decision to test the waters,” said Turner.
With Ndiaye on the team, the ‘Eaters garnered postseason success with an NIT appearance in his freshman year and making program history by making it to the NCAA tournament last season. Irvine won two regular season conference titles in his freshman and junior year. The ‘Eaters set a program best 28 wins last season and competed for a postseason championship in the CIT. UCI fell to Columbia 73-67 in the championship game but earned 15 non conference victories and 13 wins on the road in the journey to New York.
The NBA Draft will be on June 23rd which is held in the Barclays Center in New York.