Hamady Ndiaye, who didn’t begin playing basketball until he was 16 and left Rutgers as the school’s all-time leading shot blocker, is getting his chance in the NBA.
The 7-footer was selected late in the second round of Thursday’s draft, going No. 56 overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves, then reportedly had his rights traded to the Washington Wizards.
He is the first Rutgers player drafted since guard Quincy Douby was selected 19th overall in the 2006 NBA draft.
“I have come a long way, but I still have further to go,” Ndiaye said. “I would like to thank the Timberwolves for this tremendous opportunity. I would also like to thank my family, my friends and the good people at Rutgers University for all of their support.
"Playing in the NBA has been a dream. Now that it’s within reach, I am going to do whatever it takes to make it come true.”
Ndiaye averaged 9.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game as a senior, and was the Big East’s Defensive Player of the Year. He finished his career with 358 career blocks, three more than the mark Roy Hinson held for decades.