Coach Ray Harper and the WKU basketball squad have a new commitment for the 2013 season. JUCO Forward Daouda Soumaoro has made his intentions known that he will be a Hilltopper.
Soumaoro is a 6'9" sophomore from Iowa Western Community College. Soumaoro hails from Bamako, Mali and played his high school ball at Our Savior New American School in Centereach, NY where he helped lead the Pioneers to the most wins in the schools recent history. While in high school, Soumaoro averaged 12.5 pts, 8.3 reb, and 3.3 blocks per game as a senior. He is also graced with a 7'2" wingspan and from all reports, works well in a transition type of game.
I managed to talk with Daouda's high school coach Eric Jaklitsch from OSNA. Jaklitsch helped handle Soumaoro's recruitment.
"He is a kid that has had a chance to develop and get better. He has a had a chance to work on his game for 2 years at a fantastic Junior College in Iowa Western. Iowa Western Assistant Coach Michael Johnette is a tremendous big man coach."
Soumaoro has had his JUCO career hampered by season ending knee injuries. Suffering ACL tears in each of the last two seasons.
"He came back 100% after the first injury and became a starter. He is one of the hardest workers you will ever find. He is rehabbing now and will do what he needs to get back."
Soumaoro has been billed as a player that can play in an uptempo pace.
"He can run, has really good hands, is a good athlete and can play at a faster pace."
WKU was able to outlast Old Dominion, Villanova, and UTEP for Soumaoro's services.
"WKU stayed with him and showed loyalty." said Jaklitsch. "That meant a lot that WKU was loyal to him through the injury and everything while other teams kind of backed off or made him back-up options"