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Boubacar Diakite set to enroll early at St. John’s

This Mali/ New York product will be with the team for 2017-18.

NCAA Basketball: St. John at Butler Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Per Andrew Slater, Boubacar Diakite will enroll earlier than expected at St. John’s.

He was expected to join the Johnnies in 2018-19, but will instead enter the program for the upcoming season. Diakite takes the final available scholarship for Chris Mullin’s team.

While recovering from a knee injury suffered this spring, Diakite will redshirt.

This gives him an opportunity to hone his skills with the team. He will practice with St. John’s, and build relationships with other Johnnies, which he has been doing while rehabbing on and around campus this summer.

Diakite is a 6’9” forward from Mali. He graduated from Our Savior New American School on Long Island.

OSNA has been the high school basketball home for a number of St. John’s players who are originally from West African countries - including Chris Obekpa (Nigeria), Felix Balamou (Guinea), and Yakwe (Mali) attended that same high school.

Scout describes Diakite as an athletic and versatile forward, who also can score the ball inside. 247 Sports also commented about Diakite’s game, depicting him as a consistent mid-range jump shooter.

Diakite does not solve this year’s frontcourt issue, where Tariq Owens, Marvin Clark, Kassoum Yakwe and Amar Alibegovic could use assistance down low to complement the Johnnies backcourt.

But next season, as Bashir Ahmed and Amar Alibegovic leave the program, Diakite has a chance to be a heavy contributor at small forward alongside Marvin Clark and Sidney Wilson, giving the Red Storm height and speed in the frontcourt.

Center Sedee Keita and guard Mikey Dixon, both transfers, will be active on next year’s squad after sitting out a season.