|Intro||Senegalese basketball player|
|Is||Athlete Basketball player|
|From||United States of America Senegal|
|Birth||10 December 1995, Dakar, Senegal|
Elhadji Tacko Sereigne Diop Fall (born December 10, 1995) is a Senegalese professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA), on a two-way contract with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA G League.
Fall was born and raised in Dakar, Senegal. He moved to the United States at age 16 and later played college basketball for the University of Central Florida. Fall went undrafted in the 2019 NBA draft, but later signed with the Boston Celtics.
Fall is the tallest current NBA/G League player, is the tallest player in G League history, and is one of the tallest living humans. When measured at the 2019 NBA Draft Combine, he set all-time NBA records for tallest height in shoes (7 ft 7 in, 2.31 m), largest wingspan (8 ft 2.25 in, 250 cm), and highest standing reach (10 ft 2.5 in, 3.11 m). He was later measured at 7 ft 5 in (2.26 m) without shoes; thus, the NBA lists his height as 7 ft 5 in.
Born and raised in Senegal, Fall moved to the United States from Dakar at age 16. Initially, he played soccer and had no interest in basketball. He visited the International Sports Training Institute at Dakar, known as ISTI-Dakar. He first played organized basketball in Houston, Texas, and trained with NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon.
He was listed as 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m) and was purportedly still growing around his senior year, making him the tallest high school basketball player in the country while he played for Jamie's House Charter and Liberty Christian Prep. Due to his height and reach, Fall was one of the most highly scouted high school basketball centers in the nation. Fall first played for Jamie's House Charter School in Houston, where his team won the state championship. Fall played with ISTI all-stars summer travel team & for Each 1 Teach 1 on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit where he played alongside fellow class of 2015 recruits Antonio Blakeney and Ben Simmons. He also played in several NCAA certified events, including the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Virginia. Fall then attended Liberty Christian Preparatory School in Tavares, Florida. As a senior in 2015, Fall averaged 20 points, 15 rebounds, and 5.1 blocks per game. With nearly forty different schools expressing interest in him, Fall committed to the University of Central Florida in Orlando, who officially signed him on October 28, 2014. He played with the UCF Knights under head coach Donnie Jones.
Fall attended the University of Central Florida and played for the Knights as a center. He faced fellow giant Senegalese center Mamadou N'Diaye, who stands at 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m), in the tallest tip-off and match-up in U.S. college basketball history in a game against UC Irvine. Both from Dakar, it was N'Diaye's brother, Ibrahim, who persuaded Fall to take up basketball. By his sophomore year, Fall became the tallest player in college basketball after N'Diaye declared for the 2016 NBA draft. During his sophomore season, Fall would make considerable improvements in his playing style. In 2017, Fall was named American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Fall grew to be an efficient player, ranking second nationally in field goal percentage as of January 2017. On April 5, 2017, Fall declared for the 2017 NBA draft, with the possibility of returning to Central Florida still available to him before the end of the draft lottery that year. On May 24, 2017, Fall withdrew his name from consideration for the NBA draft, to return to UCF for his junior year. During his junior year, Fall injured his shoulder, causing him to only play in 16 games, totaling 351 minutes. Coming into his senior season, Fall was named to the Preseason Second Team All-AAC. During his senior season, Fall helped lead the Knights to the NCAA Tournament and secured their first victory in program history with a win over VCU. In his final game, Fall recorded 15 points and six rebounds in a losing effort against Duke 77–76.
After the conclusion of his senior year, Fall was named one of 80 participants (40 representing the NBA draft hopefuls) for the NBA G League Elite Camp on May 12–14. By the end of the event, Fall later got transferred into the NBA Draft Combine as one of an additional 11 participants there. During the combine, he put up new records at the event, including height (which received comparisons to former NBA player Manute Bol), wingspan, and standing reach.
Boston Celtics (2019–present)
Despite going undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft, Fall was signed to an Exhibit 10 Contract on June 21, 2019 by the Boston Celtics. Fall played for the Celtics during the 2019 NBA Summer League season, scoring six points in his first game alongside four rebounds; in his second game he tallied twelve points for his first double-digit scoring game, alongside another rebound. He had one blocked shot in each of his first two games. Fall concluded his 2019 Summer League run participating in all five games with the Celtics and averaging 7.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, and shooting a team-high 77 percent from the field.
On July 25, 2019, the Celtics officially announced that they had signed Fall. On October 13, 2019, the Celtics officially announced that they had signed Fall to a two-way contract, splitting time between the Celtics and Maine Red Claws. Fall made his debut for the Celtics on October 26 during a game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. He played for four minutes, scoring four points and grabbing three rebounds, with his first points coming from a standing dunk.
In the G League, Fall was one of the top players, averaging a double-double of 12.9 points and 11.1 rebounds per game to go along with nearly three blocks per game for the Red Claws.
Given his size, Fall plays the center position. His shoe size is 22 and his wingspan is 8 ft 4 in (2.54 m) and a standing reach of 10 ft 2 in (3.10 m). He also has a max vertical leap of 2 ft 2.5 in (0.67 m). Unlike the father–son pair of Manute Bol (now deceased) and Bol Bol (9.25 in length, 9.50 in width), Fall has considerably larger hands, measuring 10.5 inches in length and width, which makes him able to palm the ball with one hand.
Going into the 2019 NBA draft, he was viewed as a great shot blocker who was relatively lacking in lane agility and three-quarter-court sprinting speed.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
Fall is a devout Muslim; he selected the jersey number 99 with the Celtics as a reference to the 99 Names of Allah. He is not the only tall member of his family; his younger brother was reportedly 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) at age 7, while two of his uncles are 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m), but his extreme height stands apart even among them. He maintained a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) in high school, while taking advanced mathematics and science classes. He became fluent in English within eight months and scored in the 95th percentile on the SAT. He was a computer science major at UCF and originally had aspirations of becoming an engineer for electronic companies such as Siemens or Microsoft.