Mamadou Ndiaye's goal of playing Division I basketball has officially become a reality.
The 6-foot-7 forward from Oakland Mills High School announced his commitment to play collegiately at Saint Peter's University on Tuesday.
"I really liked the school when I visited. I like the classes, they have a good business program there and I feel like the team is a good fit," said Ndiaye, who visited Saint Peters the last week in March prior to Spring Break. "The team only has five or six players returning on scholarship, so I have an opportunity to go in there right away, earn a starting spot and play big minutes."
Oakland Mills coach Jon Browne said he likes the fit as well.
"I'm really excited for him. I think he can go in there next year, play and really contribute," Browne said. "It's a good academic institution, he's on scholarship and he's going to be playing in a solid conference."
Saint Peters plays in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and finished this past season with a 16-18 record, losing in the conference tournament semifinals.
Ndiaye says he's excited about the opportunity to take the program to new heights. "They've had a few down years, but there's definitely potential and hopefully I can go in there and help turn things around," he said.
Ndiaye, who was recovering from an injury during the first couple weeks of his senior season, was back at full strength by early January and put together a special final high school campaign. In 23 games, he averaged 13.6 points and 7.5 rebounds every time out to earn himself a spot on second team all-county.
As Oakland Mills made its run to the program's first state championship since 1990, eventually beating Patterson in the 2A title game, Ndiaye scored in double digits in every postseason contest.
He was especially big in the regional finals against Douglass, where he scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in an overtime victory.
"He kind of had to work his way back physically and mentally throughout the season after the injury, but when it mattered most … he was absolutely fantastic for us," Browne said. "His energy level in the playoffs was back to the Mamadou that we all know and I can't speak enough about what his presence meant to the run we made."
An athletic guy who plays above the rim and can also knock down shots from the perimeter, Ndiaye could see time at the small or power forward positions in college. Browne says he thinks Ndiaye has a very high ceiling.
"The kid really has a lot of upside. He's incredibly explosive, can score in a lot of different ways and is a very capable defender," he said. "He's really just scratching the surface of his potential, in my opinion."
Ndiaye will be the second Oakland Mills player in the last three years to head to play collegiately at a MAAC school, as 2013 Scorpions' grad Lavon Long just wrapped up his sophomore season at Siena. Long averaged 10.4 points and a team-high 4.9 rebounds for the Saints this past winter, while starting 24 games.