Harlem’s Mohamed Bamba is a top-5 prospect in the Class of 2017. We’ll be following Bamba on the journey through his senior year of high school as he holds down the SLAM HS Diarist position for the 2015-16 season.
It all started as a joke. Westtown requires a major community service project as a condition to graduation. While they allow us to “give back” anywhere in the world (and even sponsor the trip), proposals have to be detailed and well-thought-out or they get denied and your only option is to volunteer locally.
So my good friend Anthony Ochefu and I said, “Let’s say we’re going to Jamaica or Cancun so we have an extra week to relax after this long season.”
I write a proposal and basically tell the project advisor, “Yeah, we’re thinking of going to China.”
I guess I should’ve done less research on my plan for China, because 3 weeks after I submitted the proposal, I got approval and it was on its way to becoming a reality. While Anthony’s mom was understandably concerned about him going halfway around the world, I was able to convince my family that this could actually be a great cultural exchange opportunity for me, especially in a country where over 300 million people play basketball.
Just before I went off to China, I attended the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference for a second year in a row. This year, I brought my sister so that she too could learn from all of the expert panels that have topics ranging from “Life of a College Student-Athlete” to “Sports Science and Player Tracking Data” and even “Silver asks Silver” (one of my favorites because I got to hear Adam Silver’s vision first-hand). I’ve always been interested in the experts who use numbers to back up a lot of …read more