July 30, 2008
ATLANTA – Bassirou Dieng, who played basketball the last two seasons at St. Francis University (Pa.) and has been accepted into Georgia Tech’s International Affairs graduate program, has been granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA to play for the Yellow Jackets’ basketball team in the 2008-09 season.
Dieng (pronounced BASS-uh-roo dee-ENG), who is 6-9 and 215 pounds, has one year of eligibility at Tech. In two years at St. Francis, he averaged 8.5 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game and shot 46.2 percent from the floor. Dieng also played one year at Norfolk State (2004-05) before moving to St. Francis, where he sat out the 2005-06 season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules.
“‘Bass’ is a young man who contacted us about playing basketball after applying and being accepted into graduate school at Georgia Tech,” said head coach Paul Hewitt. “Coaches in their league that I have spoken with are very complimentary of his ability as a player and his character. We’re happy that he has decided to attend Georgia Tech.”
NCAA rules require student-athletes sit out one year when transferring, but the NCAA can grant a waiver when the student-athlete enrolls at an institution in a graduate program which is not offered by his previous school. Dieng, who received his undergraduate degree from St. Francis in the spring in Political Science and International Studies and will begin his graduate studies at Tech in the fall semester.
Dieng, a native of Dakar, Senegal, will be on a basketball scholarship at Tech this year. The post player actually has played a game in Alexander Memorial Coliseum, scoring four points in 19 minutes for St. Francis during an 87-43 loss to the Jackets on Dec. 30, 2006.