Putnam Science Academy junior guard Hamidou Diallo is the top ranked player in New England’s class of 2017 and also a consensus top 20 player in the country.
It was May of 2014 when Hamidou Diallo appeared for the first time in New England, suiting up with the New York City Jayhawks at the Memorial Day Super 16 Showcase. At the time, Diallo was a total unknown but he made a big impression that weekend. A month later he returned to New England, this time to take part in the Elite 75 College Showcase, and again dominated the competition.
After what we had seen those two weekends, it was no surprise to see Diallo go on to have a breakout July as he picked up his first division I offers from the likes of Fairfield, Iona, Quinnipiac and Cal State Bakersfield.
That fall, he officially arrived in New England on a full-time basis when he transferred to Putnam Science Academy and reclassified to 2017. It didn’t take long for the scholarship offers to go from the mid-major to high-major level as Minnesota and Temple both came calling that fall. Iowa State and Providence followed suit at the beginning of the season and UConn jumped in before Diallo’s first year in the prep ranks had come to a close. In an ironic twist of fate, Kevin Ollie and Ed Cooley both watched Diallo play at last year’s National Prep Championship at Connecticut College, only nine months after Diallo had first announced his arrival on that same court at the Super 16 Showcase.
Diallo returned to the Jayhawks last spring but this time, they were set to make their debut as part of the Under Armour Association.
It was an up and down season in the Association; Diallo led the team in scoring but his efficiency was less impressive and collectively the team struggled, dropping their final nine games of the regular season.
While Diallo wasn’t quite yet ready to lead a winning team, his upside was evident and it led to a plethora of new high-major offers including the likes of Louisville, Indiana, Florida, Maryland, Villanova, Syracuse and Kansas among others.
Diallo’s second season at Putnam Academy has been one characterized by growth more so than anything else. While he came into the year having already shot up the national rankings, he initially struggled to live up to those expectations.
As the year has gone on, though, Diallo has begun to assert himself more with each passing month. In fact, he recently scored his 1000th point and became the all-time leading scorer in the history of the program.
Hamidou Diallo wants to replicate Dwyane Wade’s pull-up game
Diallo has been heavily recruited all season long, on two different fronts. College coaches have, of course, been out in full force but so too have the AAU coaches. With a return to the Jayhawks in some doubt, the New York native has been courted not just by coaches but by brand representatives from all three major sneaker circuits.
From a recruiting perspective, he almost has his pick of schools at this point…but almost is the key word. John Calipari has been in to evaluate him multiple times this year, but the Wildcats have yet to extend an offer. Duke and North Carolina aren’t there yet either. Might they be before it’s all said and done? Absolutely.
As a player, Diallo is an explosive athlete with good size at the two-guard position. He’s able to blow by, or practically jump over, almost any defender he faces at this level. What’s scary is that he’s really only just scratching the surface of his potential.
As a player, Diallo is an explosive athlete with good size at the two-guard position.
From a skill standpoint, Diallo has worked hard to improve his three-point shooting and that continues to be an ongoing process. He’s also learning to utilize his athleticism in the mid-range game, in terms of his ability to rise up in traffic. Overall, his total skill set needs to continue to develop as does his general understanding of the game. Right now, when he decides he’s going to score, he puts his head down and flies to the rim as quickly as he can. Once he further develops the different elements of his scoring arsenal, then he’ll have to learn to utilize that versatility by reading the defense, making good decisions with his shot selection, learn the nuances of timing and how to score within the flow of a half-court offense.
If it sounds like Diallo still has a lot to work on, that’s because he does. But that may be the most exciting part about him. He’s already the top prospect in New England, a 1000 point scorer and the leading scorer in PSA history and he hasn’t even fully developed. The important thing though is that he continues to take his work ethic and dedication to new levels so that he can develop his incredible potential and see just how good he can end up being.