Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Recruits on the Radar: Four from Blue Squad

The Blue Squad was one of the most intriguing teams on the AAU summer circuit in 2014. For starters, most of the players on the team are from African countries such as Guinea, Mali and Senegal.

Some of them also happen to be very long and very athletic. It is why many college programs – including the University of Hawai’i – are trying to recruit them.


According to Blue Squad head coach Babacar Sy, at least four of his players could be targeted as recruits by UH: 6-foot-10 center Abdoulaye Ndoye, 6-9 forward Mamadi Diakite, 6-8 forward Cheickna Dembele, and 6-6 wing Ibrahima Diagne.

UH’s advantage, if any, is with the head coach, Sy. He is originally from Senegal, but has past ties to current UH head coach Gib Arnold. When Arnold was the head coach at College of Southern Idaho a decade ago, Sy was one of the assistant coaches.

“Obviously we know the University of Hawai’i very well through Gib Arnold,” Sy said. “I worked for him before as an assistant coach and we much appreciate what he does over there. He has a very good reputation internationally and a very good reputation with all those kids, so definitely the University of Hawai’i is one of the universities we’ll be looking at.”

The gem of the team is Ndoye, who was one of the most dominating post players at the Bigfoot Hoops Las Vegas Classic last month. He also played for Blue Squad last year, but needed another year to work on qualifying for intercollegiate athletics. Sy said there are still hurdles to clear for Ndoye to play college basketball, so playing professionally in Europe is becoming a stronger option.

Diakite could be a more viable option for colleges for the class of 2016. He spent the 2013-14 school year at Blue Ridge High School in St. George, Virginia. He averaged around 15 points, 8 rebounds and 6 blocked shots per game as a sophomore last season, and will return there for his junior season.

“I want to just play Division I,” said Diakite, who is from Guinea. “I want to make the NBA.”

Dembele and Diagne are from Senegal, but are looking to enroll in an American high school for the upcoming school year.

Sy said the Blue Squad players were relatively unnoticed (except for Ndoye) at the start of summer. However, many East Coast schools were expressing interest in the players by the end of summer.

At the Las Vegas Classic, Blue Squad lost just one game – against eventual tournament champion Mac Irvin Fire, which is an elite all-star team from the Chicago area.

“We are proud of what we did here and proud of who we are,” Sy said. “And we hope we can keep it going to the next level.”


  1. Senegal is shot blocking country. Could use one of them this year.

  2. Good News

    Coach Gib has planted many seeds all over the globe. Coach Sy has groomed a good team with extraordinary height for such a young age level. UH is definitely on their map. Mahalo for keeping this site exciting.

    FROTU Sightings

    ESPN3 is covering all of New Zealand’s FIBA games live with Replay so they can be seen at http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index.

    Sat. 30th vs Turkey @ 4am
    Sun. 31st vs Dominican Republic @ 12:30am
    Tues 2nd vs USA @ 5:30am, can also be seen on ESPN2
    Wed 3rd vs Ukraine @ 3am

    Our long wait is over…they’re back!


  3. Very intriguing prospects.

  4. Well… very good Gib and staff very much active in getting the long , athletic, shot blocker type. Yes servante—Senegal, land of those 6-10″-7’2″+ athletes.
    International ties to France too. Gib goes there, because Sengal residents migrate there for work or school, or play club ball . Gib , the contacts so important, and he having had Sy as and assistant and good friend, yes,… Gib and team have chance of landing one of those Shot blocker, athletes down the road.

    BACKBEAT.. you are spot on, and NEVER MISS A BEAT….UH recruiting full steam ahead, for upcoming years, and the interest is there!!
    BACKBEAT, warriorhaw, TAVS, akuhead2, anderpops, Eagle, the live and live even stronger for the Bows.. guys are coming back.. When , hopefully with Sammis too!!…ALL SIXTEEN.. 12 scholarship and 4 walkons, are being introduced by way of video interview, open gym and workouts.

    the diehard ,MBB fanbase, love the Rainbow Warriors, as does our dear friend Tonganator!!.. soon, warriorhaw, BACKBEAT, EAGLE and faithful MBB fans.. UH MBB back to the straight and narrow., and concentrate on dunks, trifectas, run and gun, and nation leading defense , blocks, steals, and FG/3 line defense..

    Getting excited there warriorhaw, and fans..
    Go Rainbow Warriors , go The Mighty , Mighty Warriors. Go Gib , go get em, hook em up and reel em in(per pocho!!)
    grinning a lot now.. very soon… THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN..!!

  5. The big kid got some raw skills but can definitely help us right now. He’ll be a beast in a few years! The interview with the coach makes it sound like the kid is leaning to the pros. I’m only guessing here, but if the kid is taking that long to qualify then it’s probably not a good idea to bring him in. Not while the badgers at the NCAA are still biting at the heels of Gib and staff. They would probably make it even harder to get the kid into UH. I’ll definitely take the other kid in number 8! He’s only a junior in high school and could be a beast in a couple years also.

  6. thought the same with you Chuck and servante…if the 6’10” Center from Sengal, he is long, and he plays like a guard, very smooth, .. seems like these guys are not 17, 18 years old, more like 19, 20 maybe… so more mature to travel far away to a school. Wondered if the 6’10” guy, if not option to go pros, if consider, UH this year, or even come in and RS.. imagine having him to develop for 5 years… yes, he would be maybe, NBA Material, and still growing, his frame , all their frames, and arms legs, are lengthy, shows, they will still grow!!

    As Gib with international, and Senque, and Bemjy the North American continent contacts, just a matter of time, until get the Bigs, the Wings, the guards, that are those next level guys..

    servante….and Chuck Cheese, these interviews, were past when Dayton in the mainland, so wonder, if Gib sneak one in.. RS them, or even , get them enrolled, a similar type of African athlete and have them workout , get used to Hawaii and school, many UH could use these guys, JUST one would be good. what a skillset, just has to get stronger, put on some weight.

    That there is interest in UH MBB, until thinks are worked out, ,.. that is great for WI MBB nation.. I think the team, if Sammis gets in and gets waiver, will be very , very good THIS YEAR!!

    Go Bowz!

  7. Chuck.. one thing by now.. after all this Big Brother watch, for several months, absolutely sure, AD, HC and program, and the gal that does compliance(!), KNOW THE RULES FOR INTERNATIONAL and transfer, new guys.,.

    Agreed, the international guys, takes some work.. However paper work, really, not even sent out, set things in motion by Big Brother.. wow.. legal, take care, get UH straight, and UH MBB ready to rock, in future, with a couple of 3. 5 star athletes, and Sengal Seven footers!

    Go The Mighty Warriors, Go The Mighty Tall Blacks… Fotu, come back strong, have an all American mention year Jr. season!

  8. Sammis can get up there, can he make it down here ?


  9. i think these would be steals….they are all raw but very athletic and they know it’s a good opportunity to play ball in america so they will train hard….#7 reminds me of a dillon biggs aka the helicopter

  10. i think we would fall in love with anyone of them and would come off the bench blocking shots and throwing down lobs

  11. Man. If Gib could have locked the 6’10” center for this year…yes..he would be the athletic rim protector and actually really nice out to 3 line skillset..hawfan..anyone of those guys would help..very skilled athletes..

  12. islandman…wow ..sammis can fly..hopefully right to uh mbb roster bench!!
    soon …

  13. SO Many Prospects and Possibilities…

    GIB & Q Will Get Us More than Our Share…

    Can we Replace Coach Fish and Coach ‘Em Up?!

  14. seems per social…. guys are on the way, or very soon flying back, all of the North American UH MBB athletes.. and we …Mahalo Backbeat for the Link: awesome..

    To watch replay on ESPN3 of NZ Tall Blacks with Isaac Fotu, .. fantastic, whet our appetite for the FROTU..displaying his wares against NBA elite talent!

    LINK , thanks to BACKBEATS search, once again , drum roll…rrr.rrrr.r.rrr..rrrrr.. taaaa , daaa..!
    for replay of Tall Blacks games in FIBA..

    Mahalo BACKBEAT For keeping us informed, also to islandman, who is ALL OVER THE ISLAND of UH athletics, you two, really in the groove, and getting we die hard UH MBB fans, ready to ROCK the ROCK!!
    EAGLE….believe.. BA , still on board, however Senque IS The change, the NEW Recruiting Coordinator.. Que, Benjy and Gib tireless recruiters..

    JMO, and an observation..To help UH lower campus look GOOD to recruits on visits..Simple, just maintenance crew, have meeting, how they can help UH lower campus and athletics in a huge way.. make sure the grounds, buildings, the showers, the dorms, are immaculate..paint, scrub, wax, and shine..DAGS.. doesn’t take much money, just coordinate the staff, can be done. Could make or break a commit’s decision… Yet, the big sale, for one recruit? THE WEATHER, he comes from cold climate… So Hawaii’s beauty, and laid back life style can be big sale.. to get what the Big Boys don’t those other top 300 in the world athletes.. Go Bows! ( Just My thoughts after watching L and L with Ben Jay tonite PBS Hawaii.. good show.. tough assignment.. )

  15. UHAD should be authorized to recruit and ‘hire’ dedicated maintenance staff…
    HI-Performers with Pride who wanna Impact the Program and ‘OWN’ Lower Campus Facilities….

    Since SenQue Was Able to Build Up/Improve PAUL GEORGE’s Game, he can probably Help the Bigs, but His Primary Coaching assignment IS The Point Guards…Don’t Know that Benjy, Brandyn or Gib have BIG-Development Skills like Fish…McMillan’s DOBO position is still open to allow a shuffle & Big Expert OR it might just fall to Q as well…Benjy’s son didn’t seem to have sig. Big skills even at 6-9, so i’m assuming Benjy don’t know enough…

  16. mahalo runbows. And for your historical perspective. Names from the past that we forgot or didn’t recall. I used to watch as, a youth, UH BB games in Klum gym. Clay Cockett, Norman Ching, coach Al Saake, etc.

  17. Just a total random thought here, this just popped into my mind catching up on world news…

    With the heavy fighting in Gaza, I wonder if Orel Lev is doing alright in his mandatory military service. I remember his mandatory service runs through 2015, so he is likely involved in some capacity for the Israeli army.

  18. on sammis’ last instagram post, gib commented on it saying “congrats on getting cleared by the NCAA #hawaiihoops”

  19. What! This is getting betta and betta!

  20. According to Instagram

    Coach congradulates Sammis being cleared by the NCAA 22 hours ago

    Dayton can you verify?

  21. That gib instagram, tweet account, legit..that is a beautiful site, with family photos, not fake.
    Yes, very sure Dayton and Beat Writer, will confirm.

    You , know through all of this , an eighteen year old, about to be nineteen in Oct. 2014, he is showing maturity beyond his years. Outstanding character, must be why Gib and staff went after him so hard. For him to wait, and wait, and wait, and NO TO COMMENT.. on situation, just wait till get clearance outstanding. Yet, we WI MBB fan die hard faithful we, wait for OFFICIAL word out of UH MBB office.. Sammis , say HAWAII BOUND…. he knew it, and coach probably holding, the squeeze till last minute,…and booom… Sammis Hawaii bound, cleared by NCAA for that scholarship ride.. one word: Cheehooooo! Awesome….

    pocho: we been down this road before right, Blakes, Biggs, Stevens, etc.. so we AWAIT, UH MBB office confirm, or Dayton and BM blog confirmation..

    The instagram, communique, that is legit, page..

    Wow.. warriorhaw… if true, and I am leaning 99.9% true, no fake job…

    I falling down, and hard to get up, older guy that I am, call EMT’s, I need a heart CPR.. to get ready to Rock with the Rock Sammis Reyes!

    Whoa boy, if Sammis in…. UH Warrior Rainbow ,..Bows, MBB.. nation… UH going blow up the SSC center, and blow up the BWC!! Wow..what if … Gib snuck in a late Senegal 6’10” guy too..I would fall down two times and start to cry tears of joy~!

    HOPING HARD… warriorhaw, pocho, UHfan, I saw that tweet too, looks like the real deal.. try wait.. once the word from UH MBB office or DM and BM.. we go Cheeeeeehooooo!!!

    Go Bows… Go Warriors, Go Rainbows.. oh shoots… Sammis, young man , tear down the rim, with that 42 inch power vert… tear down some rims, brother,, mucho grande, muy bueno, muy bien!!

    Go Chile!

    we wait..
    SAMMIS SUPER MAN REYES…can sky and fly, and rock and ROLL!!

  22. The NCAA is a friend, then.

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