Hard Work Paying Off: Scouting Abdoulaye N'doye

Updated: May 20

© Simon Godet

Abdoulaye N’doye is a surprise emergence in the 1998 generation of French players. Surpassing and outlasting his U18/U21 teammates (in Cholet Basket Club) who were pegged ahead of him (as far as shear talent), Abdoulaye could be described as a player with razor sharp focus and unshakeable confidence. Year after year he has made strides improving his game and becoming a young center piece of the club. Abdoulaye is not the most talented offensive player of the European prospects but he has the ability to affect the game in many ways most notably defending. He is a player that values his role and performs at a high level. He has improved his outside shooting becoming a threat as a catch and shoot player. The off court focus of Abdoulaye is among the best of the 2020 draft class. He is very strict on his nutritional intake and understands the care of his body by always taking advantage of downtime to rest and recover. He is a class act, being a great teammate, and has an attitude and approach to the game that makes him a coach’s dream.

A great 3 and D option in the 2nd round, I believe Abdoulaye is the best on ball defender among European prospects in the 2020 NBA draft pool. Arguably the hardest worker of the European prospects, he is a perfect example of how work ethic exceeds talent. I have laid out a small bio, history, and summary of Abdoulaye’s production with Cholet Basket in the 2019-20 season-

DOB: Born March 9th, 1998 Dunkerque, France

Home Town: Dunkerque, France

Height: 6’7 (2,00 m)

Weight: 205 lbs. (93 kg)

Position: Guard/Forward

Dominant Hand: Right

Agency: ComSport (Bouna N’diaye)


Abdoulaye grew up in the northern city of Dunkerque where his father Oumar played basketball professionally for Gravelines Dunkerque club in the 90’s. Following in the footsteps of his father, Abdoulaye picked up a basketball at the age of 5 and never looked back. As Abdoulaye quickly progressed in each age category he made the decision in 2014 to leave the north and continue his basketball development in the Gauthier Academy of Cholet Basket (alums: Rudy Gobert, Killian Hayes).

To Abdoulaye, family means everything. So, for him to decide to leave the comfort of family and friends in Dunkerque and head to Cholet, it was somewhat his way of writing his own history in the journey to becoming a professional.

Arriving in Cholet, he took on the role of floor general playing the point guard position for the U17/18 squad. His height and length gave him the ability to setup teammates on the offensive end and play between the passing lanes on defense. Abdoulaye’s rise within the 1998 generation of players did not go unnoticed as the French basketball Federation selected him to represent France U16 side in the 2018 European Championships. He led a talented French roster in assist and steals as they went on to capture gold in the tournament (notable teammates: Killian Tillie, Frank Ntilikina).

Abdoulaye’s willingness to improve year after year is in part to the consistency of his work ethic. A player that plays the perfect complementary piece to a team. He shows determination through his years in Cholet Basket club breaking into the pro roster, cementing himself as a player the club and coaching staff can depend upon.

Injury Report:

2017-18: Suffers left ankle sprain May 5th, 2018 towards end of game against JL Bourg. Misses the final two games of the season but no surgery.

Outlook: Abdoulaye has been durable in his young career. A very dependable player, he is always finding ways to reinforce his body by going the extra mile with injury preventative treatment (Reboots One Recovery for his legs).



Active areas:

· Under-rated passer, passes are not spectacular but delivers a pinpoint assist.

· Not a true PG but could be a 2nd or 3rd option as a ball handler. Possibly playing a point forward role. Uses his long arms to keep defenders from reach of the ball.

· Improved 3-point shooter and remarkably effective as a catch and shoot outside threat.

· Great usage of floater/tear drop when finishing at the rim.

· Under rated offensive rebounder. Long arms make him a box out nightmare for the opposition.

· Good a drawing fouls against defenders looking to pick his pocket.

Areas to improve:

· 1 on 1 isolation dribbling. Tighten his handle of the ball and adding various dribbling variations to separate from defender

· Shooting off the dribble (1 or 2 dribbles to separate from opposing defenders)

· Playing without the ball, understanding moving to the open space or slashing.

· Finishing more above the rim (dunking). At times can miss easy shots at the rim when going up through traffic.

· Adding muscle to absorb bumps when driving or in the air which knocks him off balance.


Active areas

· Calling card and specialty is defending whether on ball or help side. Active feet and hands.

· Great usage of length when defending, smothering the space of attackers.

· Can defend multiple positions 1-3, and at times can be used in the low post either ¾ or fronting defender because of arm length.

· Understands how to defend “aggressively” without being prone to fouling

· Great rebounder which leads to him leading the offensive break.

Areas to improve:

· Adding strength to help fight through defending PnR.

· Defensive rotations-can be lost at times but more communication can help fix this issue.

· Better at contesting attacker around the rim. Can pick up cheap fouls at times.



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