The Golden State Warriors, famous for their small-ball, made waves by drafting 7-footer Damian Jones with their first pick in Thursday's NBA Draft. Then they made bigger ones with a bigger center -- 7-foot-6 Mamdou Ndiaye.
The former UC Irvine standout wasn't drafted, but he announced he'll "pursue my NBA dream" with the Warriors, playing for them in summer league.
Thanks to everyone for wishing me luck as I pursue my NBA dream. I'm excited to say that I'll be going with the Golden State Warriors.— mamadou ndiaye (@mamadoundiaye14) June 24, 2016
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So 7-6 Mamadou Ndiaye is apprently joining #warriors for summer league.— Larry Beil (@LarryBeilABC7) June 24, 2016
Ndiaye, a 22-year-old native of Senegal, was a first-team All-Big West selection and conference defensive player of the year last season, helping the Anteaters win a program-best 28 games. He averaged 12.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game while shooting 67.3 percent and breaking the school record for blocked shots in his career (218).
The only 7-footer on the Warriors' roster is veteran Andrew Bogut. Big men Marreese Speights (6-10), Anderson Varejao and Festus Ezeli (both 6-11) all are free agents.
If Ndiaye makes the NBA, he'd be the second player with that name to play in the league. The first, Mamadou N'Diaye, was a 7-footer drafted by Denver with the 26th pick in the 2000 draft. He played five seasons and averaged 3.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 69 games with the Raptors, Hawks, Mavs and Clippers.