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5-Star Frenchman Impressing College Scouts With Defensive Prowess

The French have found success on the basketball court in the United States. Tony Parker was key in leading the San Antonio Spurs to four championships. Evan Fournier found a contributing role with the Orlando Magic. Nicolas Batum is a sniper. Rudy Gobert is the two-time defending NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Moussa Diabate, a 6-foot 10 Frenchman from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, is fit to make opponents weary of attacking the rim while displaying the foundation to be a solid offensive contributor.

Moussa Diabate Highlights

Diabate's attitude is palpable. He doesn't fear anyone and beams competitive facial expressions, relishing in outdoing his competition. The five-star power forward runs like a deer in the open court. Using long strides and athleticism, he glides down the floor and finishes at a high percentage. Contact is welcome. Diabate embraces physicality and completes plays through defenders. He won't light it up with the ball in his hands, but he positions himself well near the rim. He's shown positive flashes as a shooter with room to grow.

Diabate shines on the glass. He has an aggressive nose for the ball and engulfs rebounds on both ends of the floor. Defensively, he's an intimidating shot blocker. Long arms and bounce form a large defensive radius. Add that to his agility, and the ingredients for an elite defender are there.

Moussa Diabate Recruiting

The high school standout is the tenth-ranked player in the 2021 basketball recruiting class according to 247Sports composite rankings. He holds scholarship offers from Arkansas, Arizona, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Maryland, Memphis, Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, UNLV, Utah, and Virginia Tech. The Kentucky Wildcats have also shown interest but haven't extended an offer. There isn't any strong indication where he'll play college basketball.

It's possible Diabate forgoes his senior season and reclassifies to the 2020 class. Consensus No. 1 2021 recruit Jonathan Kuminga has debated the decision as well. The reclassification would accelerate both players to the NBA. They would join a loaded 2021 Draft class headlined by Montverde product and Oklahoma State signee Cade Cunningham and Greg Brown—who's uncommitted. Diabate is already a promising prospect.

The coronavirus pandemic threw a wrench in the junior's decision process, but either way, he has serious potential at both the college and professional level.

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