By Cristian Gil
A MATTER OF BLOOD
When you hear the squeak of trainers and the sound of a basketball bouncing , everything else lose sense and meaning . That sensation of sharing of sweat , happiness and sadness ends up eluding you of anything known and when you less expect it , the opportunity that you wished for comes along.
Maybe Petit Niang´s fame , his brother and the Iberostar Tenefire player , precedes him , but Mame Diaw Niang (2.02m, 13/09/1998) is one of the men that Rob Orellana has added to the CBA in the last months with the aim of training him , of giving him an opportunity .
Born in Dakar , in the capital of Senegal, the boy that also dreams of studying criminology , says that his live “hasn’t changed that much , I was good in my country and played for my city´s club , but now when the CBA has given me an opportunity , I couldn´t let it pass by , I didn´t hesitate , moreover when someone as important to me as Petit has already played in this island”.
Mame started playing basketball when he was only ten years old, always backed up and accompanied by Petit, who took him to Thies , a senegalese city , where he took part in a summer camp. “I first stepped on a basketball court tehere . I went there two consecutive summers, and got hooked. After that, I began playing for a basketball club in Dakar, near my house, called Flyngstar”, states Mame .
Evidently, the presence of the oldest of Niang brothers has been really important in Mame’s life, since it was Petit who introduced him to the sport of the basket. “Petit has always been important to me. He helped me to start playing basketball and always took me along. Now a days we talk a lot on the telephone and he is always giving me tips how to grow as a player, he wants me to reach as far as possible and that’s what I am trying to do”, explains the guy who just landed in Gran Canarias.
When talking of Petit, Mame gets an ear-to-ear smile, mostly when reporting that he felt “really proud when Petit played the Copa del Rey of basketball in Malaga last year . It was a big-time moment and I would like to be able to experience it myself too, although I have always thought that I would like to reach farther than him (laughs)”.
While Mame keeps going toward his dream, he remembers that to an African player “it´s important to have someone as a backup , to be able to stand out . There are clubs that have infrastructures and capital resources, and these are the places where they really teach you how to play . In the most humble teams , being taught everything you need to know to be able to educate yourself as a player , its way to difficult”.
In this regard, Mame recounts that players such as Giorg Dieng , Sitapha Savané, Boni N`dong or Mamadou N`Diaye have opened up the Senegal´s basketball to the world and vice versa . “They are considered stars in Senegal . They show around campus , teach us and make us see basketball in a different way . Thanks to their contributions , basketball in my country is properly considered and growing stronger”, concludes the Senegalese forward .
FROM SAMUEL SOSA´S LIPS
To get to know Mame Niang a bit more, the head coach of the CBA 2015 Summer Camp, Samuel Sosa , states that “Mame Niang is a really athletic player, with a huge wingspan, which helps him achieve an important physic presence on the court . In the little time that he has been with us, he has developed mighty well , therefor we believe that he will be able to reach an high level of basketball in the future . Mame is a well-coordinated player and works great near the rim, but the most important thing is that he is a tireless worker. At the beginning he lacked some technical qualities, which we have been working on since his arrival, something that we´ll keep doing till the end of the summer. Every time he is showing a better shot and dribbling technique, something that’s indispensable for a forward position”.