Virginia commitment Mamadi Diakite was a major grab for the Cavaliers, and Thursday night the school announced that he’ll be joining the program this season instead of next. Diakite won’t play in games however, as UVA has decided to redshirt him this season.
“We are excited and fortunate to add Mamadi to the Virginia basketball family this season,” Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said in the release. “Mamadi is an athletic forward with a big upside. We look forward to his development during his career at UVA.”
It had been widely discussed that the 6-foot-9 Diakite could potentially reclassify and join the Class of 2015 at Virginia, and that remained an option according to a report from Doug Doughty of the Roanoke Times. Classes started nine days ago at Virginia, but Diakite is still hoping to get into college this year. Diakite had enough transcripts to graduate Blue Ridge in 2015, but his transcripts required translation from his native French.
“At this point, we are allowing the NCAA to evaluate Mamadi’s ability to be a member of the 2015 class instead of 2016,” Blue Ridge headmaster Trip Darrin said in an e-mail to Doughty. “We await their decision.
“There aren’t any new developments.”
This all changed Thursday night, as Virginia announced that Diakite has enrolled in classes and will redshirt this upcoming season. While Diakite will get to compete against veterans Anthony Gill and Mike Tobey in practices, he’ll also be able to work out with the strength and conditioning staff in preparations for what should be a significant role in 2016-17.