|No. 21 – Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Born||January 21, 1997|
|Listed height||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)|
|Listed weight||228 lb (103 kg)|
|High school||Blue Ridge School|
(Saint George, Virginia)
|NBA draft||2020 / Undrafted|
|2022||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Mamadi Diakite (born January 21, 1997) is a Guinean professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Virginia Cavaliers.
Diakite signed with the Milwaukee Bucks in November 2020 after going undrafted in the 2020 NBA draft. During his rookie season with the Bucks, he won an NBA championship. He also won an NBA G League championship with the Lakeland Magic. In January 2022, Diakite signed multiple hardship deals with the Thunder.
Diakite was born in Conakry, Guinea to Aboubacar Sidiki Diakite and Aminata Kaba and was raised as a Muslim. His father was the health inspector general of Guinea and his mother was an obstetrician. Diakite grew up playing soccer in streets and parks but later started playing basketball because of his height and athleticism. Due to the lack of basketball opportunities in Guinea, he tried to draw attention from the United States through Facebook. As a result, Diakite was contacted by Hassan Fofana, a Guinea native and former college basketball player, and with his help joined Blue Ridge School, a boarding school in Saint George, Virginia.
High school career
Diakite enrolled at Blue Ridge School in early 2014. When he first came to the United States, he could only speak French, and Guinean former basketball player Mamadi Diane was among those who helped him acclimate. Diakite played two basketball seasons at Blue Ridge School and also earned varsity letters in track and field and soccer, because the school required students to play a sport each season. As a senior in basketball, he averaged 12 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks per game while leading his team to the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) Division II state title and a Virginia Independent Conference (VIC) championship. Diakite was named second-team All-VIC in soccer in 2014–15, and he won back-to-back VIC high jump titles. In basketball, he was a consensus four-star recruit and the top prospect in the state of Virginia. On August 4, 2015, Diakite committed to play for Virginia, turning down offers from several other NCAA Division I programs, including Baylor, USC, and Washington.
After committing to Virginia, Diakite reclassified to the class of 2015 and redshirted his first college basketball season with Virginia, hoping to physically prepare for college basketball and adjust to the college lifestyle during 2015–16. He debuted as a redshirt freshman on November 15, 2016, recording eight points and four rebounds in a 72–32 win over St. Francis Brooklyn. On December 6, Diakite scored a season-high 12 points in a 76–53 victory over East Carolina. Through 32 games in the season, he averaged 3.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. As a redshirt sophomore on November 23, 2017, Diakite matched his career-high in scoring, with 12 points and five rebounds in a 68–42 win over Vanderbilt at the NIT Season Tip-Off. On February 3, 2018, he chipped in 12 points for a second time, in a 59–44 victory over Syracuse. Through 34 games, Diakite averaged 5.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks per game.
In the third game of his 2018–19 redshirt junior season, he recorded a career-high 18 points on November 16, in a 97–40 win over Coppin State. Diakite matched his career-high on January 9, 2019, posting 18 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks in an 83–56 victory over Boston College. On March 30, in the Elite Eight round of the 2019 NCAA tournament, he recorded 14 points, seven rebounds, and four blocks in an 80–75 overtime win over third-seeded Purdue. Diakite made a buzzer-beating shot to send the game to overtime. In the Final Four, they played Auburn. Diakite had 2 points on 25% shooting. He grabbed 6 rebounds and played a total of 36 minutes. Virginia won the game 63–62 after teammate Kyle Guy made 3 free throws. In the 2019 National Championship, they played Texas Tech. Diakite had 9 points on 50% shooting, and grabbed 7 rebounds in 25 minutes of playing time. The Virginia Cavaliers won the game in overtime 85–77, giving Virginia its first ever national championship.
He dyed his hair blonde in late February 2019 then kept that essential look for the remainder of his college career.
He declared for the 2019 NBA draft after winning the National Championship but withdrew his name from the draft before the withdrawal deadline date to return to Virginia for his last season of eligibility.
Diakite set a new career-high of 19 points to go with 13 rebounds in a 65–34 win against James Madison on November 10, 2019. He matched his career-high of 19 points on November 19, helping the Cavaliers defeat Vermont 61–55. Diakite set a new career-high of 21 points in a 70–59 loss to South Carolina on December 22. At the conclusion of the regular season, Diakite was selected to the Second Team All-ACC.
Milwaukee Bucks (2020–2021)
After going undrafted in the 2020 NBA draft, Diakite signed a two-way contract with the Milwaukee Bucks on November 24, 2020. When the Wisconsin Herd made the decision to not play the 2020–21 season, Diakite was sent to the Lakeland Magic to fulfill the G League part of his contract, making his debut for Lakeland on February 11, 2021. He appeared in 12 games with Lakeland while averaging 18.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 2.1 assists in 27.7 minutes and was named to the All-NBA G League First Team, the NBA G League All-Defensive Team and the NBA G League All-Rookie Team en route to the G League title with Lakeland.
On April 21, 2021, Diakite signed a multi-year standard NBA contract after making 11 appearances with the Bucks. He won the NBA Championship in his rookie season with the Bucks. On September 24, he was waived by Milwaukee.
Oklahoma City Thunder (2022)
On January 11, 2022, Diakite signed a 10-day agreement with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Diakite signed a second 10-day contract with the Thunder on January 21. He signed a third 10-day contract with the Thunder on January 31. On February 9, he was released by the team, in order to open up a roster spot for KZ Okpala, acquired in a trade with the Miami Heat.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Won an NBA championship|
Diakite is a fluent speaker of French, Maninka, Susu, and Fula. He began learning English when he arrived in the United States to attend Blue Ridge School. In 2014, his father Aboubacar Sidiki Diakite, health inspector general of Guinea, began leading his country's efforts against the West African Ebola virus epidemic in association with the World Health Organization. At the University of Virginia, Diakite was a French major and Global Culture and Commerce minor. In February 2019, he dyed his hair gold as "a nod to when he played soccer as a youth" in Guinea.
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- "Diakite has 19 points and 13 rebounds for No. 11 Virginia". ESPN. Associated Press. November 10, 2019. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
- "Diakite, No. 7 Virginia hold off Vermont, 61-55". ESPN. Associated Press. November 19, 2019. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
- "Bolden leads South Carolina past No. 9 Virginia, 70-59". ESPN. Associated Press. December 22, 2019. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
- "2020 ACC Men's Basketball Award Winners Announced". theacc.com. Atlantic Coast Conference. March 9, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
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- Oakes, Jamie (November 21, 2020). "Mamadi Diakite signed by the Milwaukee Bucks". 247 Sports. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
- "Milwaukee Bucks Forward Mamadi Diakite Transferred to Lakeland Magic". OurSportsCentral.com. February 5, 2021. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
- "02/11/21: Austin Spurs @ Lakeland Magic". NBA.com. February 11, 2021. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
- "Milwaukee Bucks Sign Mamadi Diakite To Multi-Year Contract. He won the NBA Championship during his rookie season with the Bucks". NBA.com. April 21, 2021. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
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- "Thunder Claims Mamadi Diakite". NBA.com. September 26, 2021. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
- "Thunder Waives Diakite, Jaworski and Sarr". NBA.com. October 16, 2021. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
- "OKC Thunder news: Thunder signs Mamadi Diakite to 10-day hardship deal". OKC Thunder Wire. January 11, 2022. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
- "Thunder Signs Mamadi Diakite to 10-Day Contract". nba.com. January 21, 2022. Retrieved January 21, 2022.
- "Thunder Signs Mamadi Diakite to 10-Day Contract". NBA.com. January 31, 2022. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
- "Thunder Acquires KZ Okpala and Amends Conditions of First Round Pick". NBA.com. February 9, 2022. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
- "Diakite Adjusting to New Surroundings". University of Virginia Athletics. September 29, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
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- Bailes, Adam; Fofana, Umaru (July 29, 2014). "Sierra Leone's top Ebola doctor dies from virus". Reuters. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- White, Jeff (October 11, 2018). "Diakite Growing On and Off Court". University of Virginia Athletics. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- Wang, Gene (March 23, 2019). "Mamadi Diakite stands out in more ways than one as Virginia prepares for Oklahoma". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 31, 2019.