Mamadi Diakite earns slew of G League honors
Virginia alum Mamadi Diakite was named to the 2020-2021 All-NBA G League First Team and All-Rookie and All-Defensive teams after a stellar season with the Lakeland Magic.
Diakite, who was called up to the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks earlier this month, averaged 18.5 points and 10.3 rebounds a game for the Magic, shooting 58.3 percent from the floor and 50.0 percent from three-point range.
He also averaged 2.1 blocks and 2.1 assists per game.
Diakite has gotten garbage-time minutes in four games for the Bucks this season.
Diakite is a graduate of Blue Ridge School, a private school at the foot of the Blue Ridge in Greene County, which he led to a state title in 2015.
After redshirting at Virginia as a freshman in the 2015-2016 academic year, Diakite was a rotation player as a redshirt freshman, averaging 3.8 points and 2.6 rebounds in 14.0 minutes per game, and a sophomore, averaging 5.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in 15.6 minutes per game that season.
His season numbers in 2018-2019 – the season in which the Cavaliers brought home the program’s first national championship – were deceptively limited. Diakite averaged 7.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game on the title team, but he stepped up big-time in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 10.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game, shooting 60 percent from the floor.
He followed up that up with big senior season in 2019-2020, scoring 13.7 points per game on 47.8 percent shooting from the field and 36.4 percent shooting from three-point range.
Diakite didn’t hear his name called in the 2020 NBA Draft, though, but he did sign a two-way contract with Milwaukee in November that allowed him to split time with the Bucks and the G League.
Even with his good numbers last year, it’s safe to say that few saw his G League season coming.
He’ll find it hard to break into the Bucks’ rotation this season, with the team poised to make a run at an NBA title, but it’s hard to imagine that Diakite doesn’t figure into the team’s plans for next year and beyond, based on his great leap forward this season.
Story by Chris Graham