NBA Academy Africa - NBA: Academy (2023)

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Coaching Staff Current Roster

NBA Academy Africa is an elite basketball training center in Senegal for the top male and female prospects from throughout Africa and the first of its kind on the continent. The academy is a partnership between the NBA and SEED Project (Sports for Education and Economic Development), a non-profit organization based in Thies, Senegal, that uses basketball as a platform to engage youth in academic, athletic and leadership programs and whose alumni include Gorgui Dieng (Memphis Grizzlies; Senegal; BWB Africa 2009).

In November 2018, the NBA opened a new elite basketball training center in Saly, Senegal to serve as the primary training location for NBA Academy Africa prospects from across the continent. The new facility features two indoor basketball courts, a multidimensional activity center, a swimming pool, a weight room, conference rooms as well as dormitories and educational facilities.

Coaching Staff

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Technical Director

As the Technical Director of NBA Academy Africa, Roland Houston oversees all aspects of player development and coaching for top high school-age prospects from across the continent.Houston, a multilingual professional with more than 15 years of experience in the sports industry, has extensive coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level. Prior to his current role, Houston was an assistant coach at George Mason University in Virginia and LaSalle University in Pennsylvania, and was also an associate head coach at George Washington University, where he helped lead the team to two Atlantic 10 tournament championships and three consecutive appearances in the NCAA DI men’s basketball tournament.Houston played four years of collegiate basketball at Rhode Island University, where he served as team captain, before playing professionally for 13 years in Spain, Argentina, France and Israel.

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Associate Technical Director

As the associate technical director of NBA Academy Africa, Joe Touomou supports the day-to-day development and coaching of top high school-age players from across the continent. Prior to his current role, Touomou worked as a player development coach at the University of Missouri and Florida State University. Prior to that, he worked as an international scout for the Indiana Pacers before joining the Superfund Sports Academy in Austria as the director of player development for basketball. He also served as a basketball expert for the U.S. State Department’s Sports United Program for eight years and served as a coach for the Cameroon Men’s and Women’s National Teams at Afrobasket 2009.Touomou has been involved in the advancement of basketball across Africa for the past 18 years, having traveled to more than 30 countries for development camps and coaches clinics. He has served as a camp director at Basketball Without Borders Africa since the launch of the program in 2003, where he has coached NBA players including Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam and Luc Mbah a Moute. Touomou is the co-founder of Play 2 Lead Foundation, an organization that provides education and leadership opportunities to young Africans through sports. He also supports youth empowerment programs across the continent led by organizations including Giants of Africa, SEED and Adidas Nations Africa.Touomou played collegiate basketball at Georgetown University for Hall of Fame Coach John Thompson and holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Government Studies.

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Associate Technical Director

Coach Astou N’Diaye was a two-time NAIA first-team All-American at South Nazarene University before going on to play eight seasons in the WNBA for the Detroit Shock, Indiana Fever, Houston Comets and Seattle Storm. Astou was also a member of the Senegalese National Team and competed in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. After her playing career, Coach N’Diaye served on the staff at Utah State University.

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Player Development Coach

Alfred Aboya leads the day-to-day player development and coaching for the elite prospects of NBA Academy Africa. Alfred served as an assistant and player development coach for Iowa Wolves (affiliate of the Minnesota Timberwolves) in the G League. Alfred played college basketball at UCLA where he played in three NCAA Final Fours. Alfred also played professionally in 6 different countries; and started his coaching career in 2016 as a graduate assistant for Mississippi State Men’s basketball team. Alfred currently serves as the assistant coach for Cameroon National Men’s Basketball Team.

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Player Development Coach

Sidy is a native of Senegal West Africa and graduated from SEED Academy before joining Christian Brothers University on a full athletic scholarship. As a Buc, Sall garnered multiple GSC Player of the Week Awards, earned a Tennessee Sportswriters Association Award and participated in three GSC Tournament Finals (2013 Champions). In his senior campaign Sall led his team in minutes played (811) and averaged an impressive 15 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Sidy graduated CBU with a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration with an international business focus.Upon graduation, Coach Sall played at the professional level for three years in three different countries (Bolivia ’15, Morocco ’16, and Bahrain 17’). In his final professional season Sall led the Bahrain League in points and rebounds but unfortunately had to retire earlier due to an knee injury.Upon his retirement, Coach Sall specializes in youth player development with the Memphis Grizzlies (2018-2020), NBA Basketball Without Borders (2019- Present) and NBA Academy Africa (2020- Present)

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Player Development Coach

Karim Nesba supports the day-to-day development, coaching and scouting of top high school-age athletes from across the continent of Africa. Prior to joining the NBA Academy Africa, Karim was coaching in NBA grassroots programs in Morocco. Karim played professionally in his home country of Morocco for more than 10 years and with his national team for 8 years. Before coming back to his native country to play professionally, Karim played in the USA at Auburn Montgomery University.

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Athletic Trainer and Physiotherapist

Fran is a Physiotherapist with a special interest in activity and sports and is currently the Athletic Trainer/Physiotherapist for NBA Academy Africa. After finishing a Master’s Degree in Sports Physiotherapy, Fran started in professional sports in 2015, in the Spanish Superliga volleyball league. Since then, Fran has worked for different clubs and organizations around the world from China with Track Cycling, Rowing and Weightlifting, among others; ice-hockey in Russia and soccer in La Liga, Spain.

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Strength and Conditioning Coach

As the strength and conditioning coach at NBA Academy Africa, Isaiah "Zay" West is responsible for optimizing athletic performance, improving player health and reducing the risk of injuries for top high school-age players throughout the continent. Prior to his current role, Zay served as a performance coach at Healthy Baller in Rockville, MD working with elite high school, college, and professional athletes across multiple sports. Zay attended George Mason University where he majored in Kinesiology and assisted with both Men’s & Women’s basketball for three seasons. During his collegiate tenure, Zay spent time interning in the WNBA with the Washington Mystics, and at the NBA Academy Africa in 2018. Zay is an NSCA (CSCS) certified coach, and he is dedicated to empowering and building relationships with his athletes in efforts to help them achieve their full potential both on and off the court.

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Performance Lifestyle Practitioner

With a BA in Cultural Anthropology from CUNY, focusing on sociocultural deviance and critical race theory, Lala Fofana began working with NBA Africa Academy as a Performance Lifestyle Practitioner in 2021. Over the past decade, she has lived in Lyon, Boston, and New York City, where she engaged in field research on the themes of social alienation, symbolic interactions, gendered violence, and intersectionality. Her pedagogical approach is both interdisciplinary and ethnographic, to allow for greater nuance in understanding students' social backgrounds and academic needs, while facilitating cross-cultural interactions in diverse communities. In addition to conducting qualitative research, she has worked in the field of social entrepreneurship at Social Change factory and the Consortium Jeunesse Sénégal, two Senegalese organizations that aim to facilitate youth education, active citizenship, and socio-economic inclusion.

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Education Manager

As education manager at NBA Academy Africa, Michael Abbott oversees an academic program that has helped prospects from more than 15 African countries receive full scholarships to attend NCAA Division 1 universities and junior colleges in the U.S. Michael has more than 25 years of professional experience creating, leading and managing transformative educational programs at schools in the U.S. and Senegal, including classroom instruction, program management and curriculum coordination. In 2008, he founded the West African Leadership Academy, a U.S.-based social enterprise that designs and implements study abroad and student-centered educational programs for the U.S. Embassy, international schools in Dakar, private schools across Senegal and NBA Academy Africa.

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Academic Prep Coordinator

As EFL Coordinator at NBA Academy Africa, Ruqayya Abdus-Salaam is responsible for the English language curriculum and standardized test preparation for all NBA Academy Africa student athletes. She also facilitates the mentoring of students in the virtual academic curriculum and supervises the student tutoring program.Ruqayya is an English language instructor and TOEFL trainer with 20 years of experience in teaching and administration in the higher education industry of Senegal. Prior to joining NBA Academy Africa, she held roles as Academic English Program Director of Dakar American University of Science and Technology, Assistant Director for International Transfer at ETTICA University Dakar, and TOEFL program Administrator at English Language Institute. In her career, she has served as an English language instructor at Suffolk University Dakar Campus, Dakar English Language Center, and the British Council Dakar.

Current Roster

Player Name Position Country of Origin Age Height
DRAMANE SAYON CAMARA g/f France 18 6'5
RUEBEN ABUCHI CHINYELU f/c Nigeria 19 6'11
THIERRY SERGE DARLAN g Central African Republic 18 6'7
AMAR ANKOU DIOP g Senegal 16 6'4
JOY IGHOVODJA g Nigeria 18 6'4
JOEL NTALE KABUGI g Democratic Republic of Congo 14 6'3
ULRICH KAMKA-CHOMCHE g/f Cameroon 16 6'11
CONNOR GRAY LIEBENBERG f South Africa 17 6'6
MABILMAWUT KON MABIL f South Sudan 0 6'9
KHAMAN MADIT MALUACH c South Sudan 16 7'1
ASSANE MANDIAN g Senegal 16 6'4
PAUL KABENGA MBIYA f Democratic Republic of Congo 17 6'10
PARBY MUSONGELA g Democratic Republic of Congo 16 6'6
SENGUN EZEKIEL OBE f Nigeria 17 6'7
MAHAMAT TAHIR f/c Chad 16 6'10
ALY TOUNKARA f Guinea 17 6'11
MATAR WADE g/f Senegal 17 6'7
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