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Drafted by New Jersey Nets in Round 2, pick 36
College: Cincinnati Stuff (IBL)
NBA fans had better learn how to pronounce this guy's name, because he's got game. Here's some help: Soumaila (soo-My-luh) Samake (sa-MAH-key). NBA scouts learned the proper pronunciation of Samake's name in a hurry as they flocked to IBL games to seek him labor for the Cincinnati Stuff. Though a raw talent -- this native of West Africa didn't play college basketball -- there is obviously much in Samake's game to excite the NBA. He led the IBL in blocked shots and shot 56 percent from the field and a respectable 69 percent from the free-throw line. He averaged 9.7 points and 7.6 rebounds. Samake was a tad foul prone (255 in 60 games, for a 4.25 average) and had 143 turnovers, but his upside has the scouts salivating. Look for him to go in the first round.
NotablesOnly began watching the game six years ago
His father is a dairy farmer in Boudouni, Mali -- a nation in West Africa
Turned down a scholarship to play in Wyoming so he could play professionally in Europe for three years
Named Defensive Player of the Year in the IBL
"I heard how much money they make, what kind of car they have, what kind of house they build," Samake says of NBA players. "I say, 'I can do this.'"
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