Mamadou Ndiaye stands head and shoulders — sometimes a foot, even half a torso — above most players on the court. Literally.
In two weeks, the 7-foot-5 junior — believed to be the tallest high school player in the country — could be standing tall at center court with his Brethren Christian teammates.
Brethren Christian, which last week captured its fourth straight Academy League championship in boys' basketball, is in the CIF Southern Section Division 5AA playoffs this week. The Warriors, who were 10-0 in league and 22-5 overall, are ranked seventh in the division. They took on Animo Leadership of Inglewood on Wednesday, but the score wasn't available at press time. Should the Warriors beat Animo, they'll play a second-round game at 7 p.m. Friday.
Much of the Warriors' success this season can be attributed to Ndiaye.
Thanks to his massive frame, the opposition has to work around Ndiaye wherever he is on the floor. In a league game against Crean Lutheran of Irvine on Jan. 31 — a 65-38 BC victory — six of Ndiaye's 20 points came on dunks, and he even hit a three-pointer. He also corralled 19 rebounds — some of themflat-footed, others by volleying the ball to himself over the head and futile reach of an exasperated defender — and blocked five shots.