Fall makes the most of a unique opportunity
Fall's Hoopland journey takes him from Senegal to Roanoke's campus.
At 6' 9", Dethie Fall '12 is the tallest Maroon on the court, but though the center's height may attract attention, the real story is about how this sophomore from Senegal ended up at Roanoke in the first place.
Fall is a beneficiary of The SEEDS Project (Sports for Education and Economic Development in Senegal), a program founded by his uncle, NBA executive Amadou Gallo Fall. The SEEDS Academy offers high school classes and basketball training to young Africans in hopes that they will land scholarships to prep schools and universities.
Those hopes were realized for Dethie Fall, who received a scholarship to South Kent School in Connecticut, where he studied and played hoops for a year before coming to Roanoke. Trustee Andy O'Keefe '80, a close friend of one of The SEEDS Project board members, learned of Fall's availability and facilitated the player's initial campus visit. That visit was recorded by filmmaker Anne Buford, director and producer of Hoopland, a soon-to-be-released documentary about the SEEDS Academy and four of its former students, including Fall.
Fall, an economics major, says that he enjoys the College's size and the campus community. "It was hard at the beginning with the language and culture difference," he says, but he is appreciative of the assistance the College has given him. "Academically, there is any type of help that you can imagine available to students." Fall also enjoyed playing on the basketball team. "We have a really good group, supportive of each other," he says. "I'm learning a lot. It's been fun."
Head men's basketball coach Page Moir has nothing but praise for Fall, whom he says is talented both on and off the court. "He's still learning...but he'll be a real strength next year. He picks up things very quickly and he's a very hard worker. He's an excellent student... I'd call him brilliant. He is fluent in five languages. He's fit in here in an incredible way, and the students like him."
Fall may be a long way from Senegal, but it seems he's found a new place to call home.