Zak Wolf (@ZakWolf22)
After capping off a busy summer by playing in the Under Armor Association championships in Chicago with Philly Pride, Alassane Amadou took a big step towards completing his recruitment process. Amadou cut his list of schools down to five on Friday, making the announcement via Instagram and Twitter.
Amadou’s top five are San Diego, Marquette, Miami, Georgia Tech and St. John’s; the lanky 6-foot-9 forward also had offers from VCU, Cincinnati, St Joes, Dayton, Iona and St. Bonaventure.
Alassane "Al" Amadou (above) cut his list to five schools on Friday afternoon. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Amadou wasn’t always a highly-touted recruit like he is now, starting his high school career at Quakertown, before transferring to Bishop McDevitt for his sophomore and junior seasons. When McDevitt shut down after the 2020-21 school year, Amadou ended up transferring to Springside-Chestnut Hill and reclassified to the 2023 class, giving him an extra year. Amadou has improved his game over the last two years, gaining national attention by being ranked as the No. 88 player in the class of 2023 by 247Sports.
Not wanting to have the stress of the recruiting process weighing on him throughout his senior season, Amadou decided to commit before it started. August 18 is the official date set by Amadou where he will decide where he’s going to play at the next level.
“It’s not pressure, but it lifts a weight off my chest, knowing where I’m going to be it will help me focus better,” Amadou said. “I didn’t want to be uncommitted while I was playing high school. I feel like it was something that was just going to annoy me, I didn’t want to think about it during the season.”
As for where he will end up, the skilled forward has built good relationships with each of the five schools that are on his list. No clear front runner has emerged, but Amadou has visited two of the schools on his list, traveling out west to San Diego for a visit on April 30 and up north to Marquette last September.
Amadou really enjoyed his time on San Diego’s campus and was interested in what a veteran coach like Steve Lavin had to offer. Lavin, who coached UCLA for seven seasons and St. John’s for five, has built up many connections over the years. Lavin introduced Amadou to one of his former players, retired NBA vet Baron Davis, whom he was able to talk to on the phone.
“He gave me really good advice on how to carry myself and be professional,” Amadou said.
Amadou (above) transferred from Bishop McDevitt to SCH Academy after McDevitt closed in 2021. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
After a seven-year hiatus, Lavin was hired by San Diego in April to be their head coach. Lavin has a relationship with Philly Pride director Kamal Yard, which has allowed the connection between Lavin and Amadou to grow.
Although Amadou has a personal connection with San Diego, he said it was Marquette that’s the school that has been in contact with him the most. Shaka Smart was the first school out of his top five to offer, and has been hot on his trail ever since. Smart has kept in touch with Amadou, often selling him on how he’s a good fit for the program.
“Coach Smart sends me a lot of clips about how I would fit in,” Amadou said. “They have me attacking closeouts, working on my dribble pull-ups and developing my game to be more deadly.”
Miami (Fl.) assistant D.J Irving has been the main catalyst for Amadou’s recruitment to the ACC school. Irving, who graduated from Archbishop Carroll, coached Amadou at the 15U level when he was with Philly Pride, which has led to a strong relationship. Amadou feels he would fit Miami’s play style well as someone who can stretch the floor and defend positions 1-5.
Georgia Tech is another ACC school that is looking to add Amadou to their roster.
“Their coaching staff is genuine, the head coach is really nice to me and tells me how I would fit in well,” he said.
Amadou also mentioned that Georgia Tech is not as far from home as some of the other schools. His mom doesn’t want him to go too far, but if Amadou is happy then it won’t matter as much to her.
St. John’s is the last of the five schools from Amadou’s list. He likes the play style from the Big East program and enjoys how they play defense and the fact that they push the ball up the floor on offense. Amadou likes the exposure that he would get playing against schools like Villanova and the fact that St Johns gets to play some of their home games in Madison Square Garden would help as well.
Amadou has been through plenty over the past few years, whether it was a global pandemic, dealing with his school closing down on top of the stressful recruitment process. Amadou is thankful for the position he’s been put in despite all the obstacles.
“It’s been a dream come true and definitely a roller coaster of emotions with me going through so much,” Amadou said. “I never thought I’d be having a top five or anything like that. I probably thought I wasn’t even going D-I, I had no confidence in myself back then. I feel like I’m a way different person now, and I know what I’m capable of.”