In Valencia Spain, Malick Gueye boarded a train which runs North along the Mediteranean coast with a final destination in Tarragona. There he will be picked up by the sports director of his potential team for the 2021-22 season. Without going too much further, let’s take a step backwards and hear where Malick’s journey began.
“Leaving to the USA was a very good experience for me…it made me mentally stronger. Being away from your family is hard but it makes you stronger.”Malick Gueye
Malick Gueye, along with his brother Selim, grew up in Paris France. Both brothers had a desire to attend University in the USA under a scholarship playing basketball. Malick knew the journey would be long and difficult but he wanted to give himself the best opportunity to advance in his future.
His plan was to make the necessary steps to get to the NBA, while getting a collegiate degree throughout the process. Learning English was an added bonus.
“When you go to Junior college you need to have a dog mentality because for many players that is the last chance to go to NCAA division 1.”Malick Gueye
His first step towards his goal was attending Balboa High School in California. He garnered attention from junior colleges accross the USA and deceided on ASA College in Brooklyn New York. He arrived late in the season and his coach decided to redshirt him and save his elegibility for the following season.
“In the USA players are more athletic and stronger. I think I’m a better European player, but being in the US helped me to see a different approach to the game.”Malick Gueye
Following his redshirt year, Malick received an offer from another Junior college. At the time it was considered one of the best programs in the country. The facilities were top notch. Malick would enjoy unlimited court time to work on his game in the off hours.
New Mexico Junior College was the program and Malick benefited greatly during his time there. Yet again, his coach wanted to save him for the following season.
With Covid-19 hitting the US hard, missing home and feeling like the opportunities accross the waters might fit his style of play best, he decided to attend EuroProBasket.
Due to the fact that a lot of his experience was based in the USA, he needed help to get in a good situation in Europe.
The first week in the EuroProBasket program Malick entered a 3×3 tournament with the rest of the players in the program. He also was a contender in the dunk contest.
Within just two weeks of being in the EuroProBasket 3 Week Program, Malick received interest from multiple teams in Spain. One team in particular made the three and a half hour journey to Valencia to see him play live in L’Alqueria del Basket, EuroProBasket’s home court facilities.
Needless to say, they were impressed and insisted to meet him on the spot, following the game they had attended. The introduction went well and Malick was offered a tryout with their club.
Malick will spend his first day practicing with the team. The following day he will play a pre-season game vs an opposing team.
The decision to be signed will take place within the next few days.
Whatever the case maybe, Malick is back in Europe, doing what he loves, playing the style of basketball he is best suited for, with the opportuntity to play basketball for a living.
“I really enjoyed my time at EuroProBasket, all the staff were nice and helpful, practices were intense. Facilities were great. For me it’s the best camp. I really recommend EuroProBasket to everyone.”Malick Gueye