St. John's has landed a 2015 center target in Yankuba Siba, a 6'11" athletic center who played at Elev8 Sports Institute and Arlington Country Day High School after playing at the Canarias Basketball Academy in the Canary Islands.
Proud to say that I have committed to the University of Sant John's!!— Yankuba Sima Fatty (@Yankusima) April 13, 2015
Sima also played on the Spain Under-18 team; he was born in July of 1996 in The Gambia. At the European Championships last summer in Division A, he averaged 11 points, 12 rebounds (leading all participants) and two blocks per game in 33 minutes per contest. He shot 45% from the field in the tournament, facing Federico Mussini's Italy team in their final game, a win.
Sima, a 6-foot-11 center, is long, athletic and active as a shot blocker. He contests shots in the paint, is quick off of his feet and has fairly good timing. Sima rebounds his area well, but currently lacks the strength to play real physical in the paint. Right now on the offensive end his points come off put backs or dunks. The next step in his development is developing back to the basket moves.
The 6-foot-11 import came to the United States with a big international reputation after his play at the Albert Schweitzer tournament and at the Nike International Junior Tournament in Belgrade. He was trending at the Dodge Shootout over the weekend in central Florida.
There is no denying his physical traits. He's big. He's athletic. He's wiry strong. He blocks shots, rebounds and runs the floor very well for a player his size. Sima rebounds well above the competition because of his unique length. He was especially impressive on the offensive end of the floor with rebounds and put backs.
Sima has huge hands and a big wingspan. There wasn't a lot of floating on the perimeter and he stuck to what he knows best.
With a big man committed to play, what does next year's big man rotation look like? Assuming Chris Obekpa comes back - which he reportedly will, but one outlet states it's is not a done deal - Sima could be, if he is ready to play, a strong rebounding complement to Obekpa's shot-blocking (Obekpa has not been a strong rebounder in his time at St. John's).
Or he could be a backup to Obekpa.
Mullin's choices show that he is interested in high-energy big men with athleticism like Sima and Tariq Owens, who committed last week. What does that mean for the more earthbound and skilled holdover Adonis Delarosa?
Time will tell.