Below we are presenting our first list of 2002 Generation. We make our best to keep it as reliable as possible but first fully accurate ranking will be available after FIBA U16 European Championship upcoming summer.
OUMAR BALLO – Born in Mali to 6’5 & 6’8 mother and father respectively. Shaquille O’neal may be the most appropriate comparison when it comes to Ballo and it’s not very exaggerated. He possess huge body but is not heavy at all on his feet. Oumar is smaller as he stands around 6’10 but possess mind blowing 7’5 wingspan. He totally dominated FIBA U16 Africa and domestic Spanish championship in the same age group. Basically his strength is too much for any youth competition in this world. With his enormous bulk he easily clears out space. Usually hard foul is the only way to stop him and prevent from making easy lay up or big dunk. Oumar started to play basketball at the age of 11 which is not late especially for bigs. Previously he was doing soccer which he benefits from as far as footwork goes. Beside paint domination, natural aggressiveness, he displays soft hands and ok rim running ability but struggles at the FT line for now. He has an older brother who plays professionally in France.
MOUSSA DIABATE – Most of the last generations has French prospects on first place or very close to the top. Paris native, Moussa Diabate is headlining this country among 2002 born players and seems to have serious shot to continue this pattern as he is possibly one of the best class of 2021 recruits on his position in USA. Talented center left to States very early – at the age of 15 and his stock is hard to believe considering he picked up the basketball just 2 years before. Quickly after arrival he gained attention thanks to amazing pace of progress, high motor style of play and perfect tools. Diabate stands at 6’10 and is not limited to simple for him big time, athletic finishes. He shows flashes of developing quite well-rounded skillset which could allow him to play as a forward with budding perimeter game. At the moment he already has offers from Miami, Georgia Tech, UNLV, Georgia Tech and Memphis or interest from UF, Indiana & Louisville.
USMAN GARUBA – Usman Garuba is a hoop phenom from Real Madrid youth system. He totally dominated FIBA European U16 Championship where he took MVP award and produced triple double in close final game against Lithuania. Currently he continues to do mind blowing things at U18 stage as still two years younger than competition. It raises some obvious questions but he is Spain native and was born there. He even did 2017/2018 pre season with ACB team. Basically he possess Zion Williamson type of body and useful strength. But he is not that skilled with the ball and displays much less bounce. As he is most likely done growing his playing style and advanced stage of physical development causes some doubts whether the style he plays in can be translated to the NBA. With his power, ability to clear out space in traffic, collecting rebounds, running the floor hard and other numerous ways to make his brawn harm opponents he can be high level ACB small ball center. However his positional length is very average, shooting touch is not promising at all and perimeter skills are definitely nothing special. Moreover he lacks creativity, craftiness and natural flair which reduce chances to easily learn typical 4 position skillset. Transition may not be smooth when physical advantage gets less visible. Privately has two years younger brother who also resides in Real youth teams.