The Memphis hoops scene has been invaded by a giant with jaw dropping athleticism and limitless potential.
“I mean I’ve never seen athleticism like this in 15 years,” Lausanne basketball coach Marvis Davis said.
His name is Moussa Cisse. As a teen, the Guinea native moved to New York, a place where ball isn’t a sport. It’s life.
“That helped a lot because in New York they’re kind of tough,” Cisse said. “They have the streetball in the summer and AAU. That really helped me a lot.”
Transferring from Christ to King in Queens to Lausanne last summer has helped his stock as well.
Cisse is now the top ranked prospect in the state. Though his skills are still raw, there are glimpses of what can be.
“I’ve learned a lot to be honest,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot. “Because I’m around really good coaches and my teammates are like a family. We work together and we push each other.”
It’s important to note that Cisse didn’t pick up the ball until he was 13. He already shows a natural instinct on defense and footwork from his soccer days.
“Where he’s excelled now is he’s able to actually face up,” Davis said. “He’s comfortable putting the ball on the floor now. He’s stepping out and he’s shooting the three ball. His free throws. He makes his free throws now.”
A quick glance at Cisse going through shooting drills reveals solid form and growing confidence.
“My offense and everything,” he said. “My jump shot. My coach, he lets me shoot. That gives me confidence. So I work on my shot every day.”
Naturally, Cisse’s talent has captured the hearts of college coaches. Memphis coach Penny Hardaway has been courtside at most home games. He already has offers from the likes of Kentucky, Kansas and Georgetown.
“To be honest when I’m in the game all I’m focused about is winning,” he said. “Off the court, I don’t care about any of that. I just focus on winning.”
There’s also not so positive attention from opposing fans.
“People don’t realize Moussa just turned 17 years old,” Davis said. “So when we go in some of the gyms and people are not saying the nicest things in the world to him and they’re having different chants and everybody every night has to game plan against you. That’s tough for a 17-year-old to handle. But I think he’s handled it gracefully.”
Davis feels this will lead his star on the same NBA path as alums Marc Gasol and Cameron Payne.
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