Brooklyn Boro

Abou Ousmane: The traveling man

April 1, 2024 Andy Furman
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He’s gone – again.

Abou Ousmane has his bags packed – where he ends up is anyone’s guess.

But the 6-foot-10 basketball performer will not be hard to find.

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He has been on a basketball sojourn for the last few years. Let us take a quick look.

He played for Todd Myles at Brooklyn’s Paul Robeson High School, and then he was at Putnam Science Academy (Putnam, Conn.) in the 2018-19 season, where he averaged 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per-game.

He then led his Scotland Performance Institute (Scotland, Pa.) squad to a 40-4 record while averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds per game. In fact, he carried those Knights to a GAC championship with 32 points and 22 rebounds in the finals.

Next stop — a freshman at North Texas State, where he helped the Green Machine win the 2021 Conference USA Tournament. He stayed for another season in Denton, Texas, averaging more than 10 points per game for a team that won the Conference USA regular-season championship and reached the second-round of the 2022 NIT, losing in overtime to Virginia, despite a 16-point effort from Ousmane.

Ousmane entered the transfer portal after that season and committed to Cincinnati’s Xavier University.

“I wanted to win,” he told the Cincinnati Enquirer at the time, on his decision to move again. “I knew Xavier was coming off a run in the Sweet 16, and I wanted an offensive-minded coach like Sean (Miller) to steer me in the right direction.”

Ousmane is still looking for that right direction.

Last week he again placed his name in the transfer portal — and only he knows what’s next.

In 34 games this last season for the Musketeers of Xavier — 29 starts — Ousmane averaged 6.7 points and a team-high 6.4 rebounds per game. Perhaps his thoughts were that Xavier was looking to add size in the portal, and his playing time would be diminished.

Wherever he lands, he credits his Brooklyn background for his basketball success. “It is the Mecca of basketball,” he has said numerous times over the course of the season. “To us, basketball is like a religion, the way we speak about it and the way we carry ourselves on the basketball court,” he told the local news media. “Nobody likes to lose. It really gave me the foundation for my competitive spirit.”

Ousmane spoke freely about his time at Robeson, and playing for coach Myles, to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “He (Myles) was telling me every day, ‘If you keep working, you can make it. You can make something out of it,’” he said. “He gave me that confidence.”

That confidence showed in Ousmane’s very first collegiate game, a 116-62 North Texas victory over Mississippi Valley State, where he scored 10 points.

“Learning (at North Texas) has helped my game tremendously,” he said.

And maybe that comes from the competition at home. He grew up with 10 siblings — six brothers and four sisters.

Things started a bit rocky this last season for the big man. He was benched from the starting lineup prior to Xavier’s win over Saint Mary’s — the first time since his freshman year at North Texas in 2021.

Ousmane said it was a reset for him, at the time.

In four games off the bench, he was back in the starting lineup scoring 34 points and collecting 18 rebounds.

There is plenty of basketball left in Abou Ousmane — but the question is where?

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR

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