Our Savior New American has some of the top International talent in the country, starting with a duo of forwards hailing from Mali. Having already profiled 6’9 sophomore Cheick Diallo last week, it’s time to take a look at his partner in the frontcourt, Kassoum Yakwe.
A 6’7 freshman, Yakwe began to develop a reputation with his strong play this past summer on the AAU circuit with Team SCAN. The lefty is a truly dynamic athlete for a freshman, both in terms of leaping ability and running the floor. The athleticism transcends to the defensive side of the court especially, where Yakwe is an intimidator as a shot blocker and gives OSNA coach Ron Stelzer the flexibility of having him guard both the perimeter and the paint. That same bounce has made him a force on the offensive glass, where he gets off the ground in a hurry to provide countless second chance opportunities. When it comes to creating his own offense, Yakwe does the majority of his work from 10 feet and in. He’s got a reliable left handed hook and has proven he can hit the short jumper facing the basket. Kassoum doesn’t quite have the motor or consistency of Cheick Diallo at this stage of their career and it shows on the court. There will be times in which you forget this uber talented freshman is on the hardwood for an extended period of time, and then he’ll hit you with a move that reminds you why he’s one of the elite players in the class of 2016.
Yakwe currently holds offers from Pitt, St. John’s, Auburn, UNLV, Oregon, Iowa State, and Providence, while Kentucky and UNC are both reportedly showing interest.