Babacar Faye was a soccer player in Senegal, but kept growing and his uncle finally got him to start playing basketball when he was 16 years old. He immediately loved it, and wound up going to a basketball academy in Senegal, where he learned the basics of the sport.
After six months at Seed Academy in Thies, he joined the NBA Academy, a year-round, elite basketball development initiative that provides high-school age prospects from outside the U.S. an opportunity to develop both on and off the court.
Charleston assistant Brian Kloman got a tip from a high school basketball scout, so the Cougars got film and then built a relationship with Faye.
There were plenty of high-majors — like Arkansas, Vanderbilt and St. John’s — that showed interest, but Faye’s mentor, Marko Culjak, felt as though a mid-major such as Charleston was the ideal spot for him to get playing time and develop.
Faye has averaged 16 minutes a game during both his freshman and sophomore campaign, and has given Charleston an athletic, developing big man who is averaging 4.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
“He’s got length, IQ, skill and a high motor,” Kloman said. “He’s working relentlessly on his shot every single day.”