February 22, 2017
Julius Kim - Elevate Hoops National Recruiting Analyst
In June 2016, St. John’s (NY) received their first commitment in the class of 2018 as they picked up a pledge from 6-foot-8 Boubacar Diakite who currently attends Our Savior New American (OSNA) located in Centereach, NY. Elevate Hoops got a chance to speak to the four-star junior on his future being a Johnny and what he is working on before he arrives on campus.
Kim: What stood out to you about St. John’s that was different from the other programs on your final list (Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, UConn) and what was their pitch to you?
Diakite: “St. John’s did a really good job with my friend from Mali, Kassoum Yakwe. I also like the way the coaches treat the players and how everybody is equal there and it’s not just a team, it’s a family… so I really like and appreciate that. When they recruited me, I spoke with the coaches and my friend Kassoum and he would tell me a lot about the program. I used to watch St. John’s and I like the way they play.”
Kim: Aside from Kassoum, how is your relationship like with the rest of the team and what are you looking forward to the most when you step foot on campus?
Diakite: “Yeah, now I’m close with almost everyone on team I would say… Tariq (Owens), Shamorie (Ponds), Marcus (LoVett), Federico (Mussini)… everyone. When I get on the team, I want to be a Big East champion, get in the (NCAA) tournament, kill the tourney and win. I want to do big things.”
Kim: For casual fans that don’t know about your game, what would you say your strengths are and what are you currently working on now to improve and expand?
Diakite: “Right now, I feel like I’m a pretty good shooter, I think I can get to the basket, get a lot of rebounds, and I think I have good vision on the court… I give it all on the court and now, I’m working on my guard skills like my handle and shooting because I’m more of a guard now.”
Kim: Is there anybody in the NBA that you compare yourself to or learn from?
Diakite: “There are a couple of people… I want to hustle like Russell Westbrook; I love the way that Paul George plays because of his style, my friend, Cheick Diallo, who is like a brother to me, and LeBron James because he does everything.”
Looking forward to watching your progress and development over the next couple of years, good luck this week down in Tennessee at the NACA tournament.