Maurice NDour, a forward for the New York Knicks’ summer league team, has come out of nowhere and burst onto the scene in the past week or so.
Before his break-out game, it’s likely that hardly anybody had a clue who NDour was and where he’s come from. His route to where he is today is unlike any other.
Maurice NDour was born in Sindia, Senegal but was raised in M’Bour, Senegal. Growing up, NDour was a very talented soccer and basketball player. During his teenage years, during a basketball tournament, international scouts took notice of NDour and was asked if he’d like to move to Japan and play high school basketball.
He attended Okayama Gakugeikan High School where he was an all-Okayama MVP honoree and All-Star selections in 2009 and 2010. After his dominant high school career in Japan, NDour moved to the United States where he enrolled at Monroe College and played two seasons there for the Mustangs. In his sophomore season, NDour averaged 16.5 points per game, 10.3 rebounds per game and 2.3 blocks per game.
After two successful years at Monroe, NDour transferred to play for Ohio University. In his final two seasons there, he earned second-team All-Mid-America both years. In his senior season, NDour posted 16 points per game, 8.3 rebounds per game, 2.3 blocks per game.
The 6’9 forward worked out for the Knicks prior to the draft and they were impressed by him. Unfortunately for NDour he ended up going undrafted. But from the many summer league invitations he received, NDour chose New York largely due to how he’d fit into the triangle.
Now, onto the worldwide traveler’s game.
NDour’s biggest strength is definitely his jump shooting. He has a soft touch from mid-range and in college NDour was a decent three point shooter. He’s very successful in catch and shoot situations and also when facing up in the high post.
Another strength of NDour’s is his elusiveness off the dribble and his footwork. He has a quick first step and he’s able to lose his defender in a hurry. NDour has frequently been seen blowing past his defender and then duping him at the hoop and NDour has also shown a killer step back move occasionally.
The 23-year-old also runs the floor well as he has out run the rest off the field resulting in a few alley-oop dunks. NDour fills the lanes well and has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. He’s also relatively athletic and it’s evident on the defensive end, notably he sent back Jahlil Okafor’s dunk attempt with force and ease. NDour is a good help defender on the weak side. He regularly comes over and blocks, challenges and changes shots.
As a one-on-one defender NDour is solid but there’s still plenty of room for him to improve. The Senegal native has a good stance and has his hands actively up. NDour’s lateral movement is decent and he usually is able to stay in front of his opponent. NDour is fairly light for his size and he is often seen being bullied down low.
Overall, NDour has a nice all-round game. His shooting ability, footwork, defensive play and shot blocking provide him with a relatively good chance to be invited to the Knicks training camp and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he’ll make the final roster.
Thus far in the summer league, NDour has averaged 13.4 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game, 1 assist per game, 2.4 blocks per game and 1.7 steals per game.
NDour has been impressive and because of that, he has a good chance of making the training camp roster for New York to see if he can build on the talent we have witnessed thus far in the summer league.
To close on a fun fact, NDour is fluent in five languages: English, French, Japanese, Wolof and Serer.