What do two and a half guitars and a UCF men's basketball player have in common? Seven and a half feet. That's how tall 2015 men's basketball team recruit Tacko Fall is. Standing at 7 feet 6 inches tall, Fall is the tallest high school basketball player in the country, and taller than any active NBA player.
Fall, a senior center at Liberty Prep Christian school, signed with the Knights on Nov. 12. He averaged 11.1 points and 5.1 rebounds last season. Fall was being courted by teams such as UF, Georgetown, FSU, Georgia Tech, Purdue, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. He said one connection he made at UCF helped make his decision to commit.
"[Coach Jones] was like the first coach that recruited me, so we have got a pretty good relationship and I know that they can help me get to the next level," Fall said.
Fall began playing basketball just two years ago. He said his height sparked a few people in Senegal, his home country, to approach him and his mother about considering playing basketball. He began training soon after and moved to the States in October 2012.
Tony Atkins, Fall's coach, said that there are more things aside from his height that make the center memorable.
"[He's a] super kid, has great personality, great sense of humor and just fun to be around," Atkins said. "[He's a] great teammate, really likes to see others succeed on the team. He's not all about him."
Fall lives with a host family in Tavares with another student from Senegal. And although basketball fostered the reason he moved to the United States, he's involved in relations beyond just the hardwood. Fall is a senior representative of the Student Government Association. Through his position, he is able to be a voice for students' concerns that can be taken to higher administration and even participate in a number of local community service projects. Fall will be an engineering major and said he's been interested in the field long before his basketball days.
But on the court, he already has a vision and expectation for the Knights' 2015 team.
"I want to help them win the conference next year. Who knows in the next couple of years what's going to happen," Fall said. "Maybe [we'll] go to the NCAA Tournament. I know Coach Jones is putting the pieces together and we're going to be pretty good, I believe."