By Andrew Vines
St. Bonaventure basketball’s newest commitment is from Ebrahim Kaba, a 6'9” forward from The Peddie School in New Jersey. Ebrahim is a highly-touted recruit who received 30 D1 offers. I interviewed Ebrahim to find out the type of player he is and his path to becoming a Bonnie.
How did you get into basketball? How did you become the player you are now?
“My brothers… My oldest brother played basketball, and just seeing him play and growing up in a family that loved to watch NBA games and stuff like that. I was just always around it and I would see it a lot. I fell in love with it at a young age. I started playing around 7 or 8. Then from there I fell in love with it and just kept playing and wanted to get better. I’ve been playing non-stop since 7 years old.”
How was the overall recruiting process for you?
“It started and happened pretty fast. I went from having no offers my junior year to the summer after my junior year. The summer going into my senior year I picked up my first offer. I picked up I think 2 or 3 more at the beginning of the school year. Where it really took off was when I had my AAU tournaments. I played well in my AAU tournaments with Team Rio, and I played well in my high school live period. That's when the 20 offers in a month came after that high school live period.”
You took official visits to Bona’s, Richmond, and North Texas. What was it about SBU that made you decide to become a Bonnie?
“It was the overall love that the basketball team gets there. The love that coach Mark Schmidt had for me. That's really the reason I picked Bonnies. Everybody there felt so wholesome. I felt that they genuinely wanted me and that the coaches really believed in me, and when you’re surrounded by people like that -- from the fans in the stands to the people in the student section that you’re with on a day to day basis -- everybody you interact with. It's a really good place to be. That’s why I chose there. I feel like if I go to St. Bonaventure, it's a place for me to develop into a pro and become a pro. The development part was big, too.”
What have you heard about playing in the Reilly Center and about the program?
“You guys have 1,800 students, but the amount of people you average at each game is more than the amount of students that you have there. That showed that everybody really loves to go to the games. The place is really lively. I think the Reilly Center was actually top 5 or top 3 places that you don’t want to play at as the away team in the A10. That home crowd is a big part of it, too.”
Do you know what you want to major in at St. Bonaventure?
You’ve been described as a “big and versatile 3&D wing”. What part of your game do you think fans will enjoy most? Do you model your game after any NBA players you like watching?
“Everybody loves the 3-point line. I feel like if I go on hot streaks I can get the crowd turned up. I’m a guy that brings energy, too, so they'll definitely feed off that. I’m really versatile, so I can play so many different spots on the floor, wherever coach wants me to be. I watch a lot of Jayson Tatum, a lot of Paul George. Guys who are really skilled on offense, but also play defense and shoot the ball. Those are two very versatile guys who can play anywhere, play both sides of the ball. Those two are probably who I model my game after the most.”
What's an underrated part of your skill set people might be surprised by?
“I would definitely say defense, because when I was younger I didn't play that much defense, but now I really take pride in my defense. I was working on it the last year and a half, and I really feel like I stepped my game up on the defensive side of the ball, so I feel like that is really underrated.”
What do you want to work on most this upcoming season?
“I want to work on everything to be honest with you. I know that’s kind of vague. I feel like I haven't filled out anything yet. I feel like I can still improve in everything, so just working on everything and continuing to get better. Filling out my whole game. But one thing I definitely will say I’m working on is my body. Just getting ready for that transition, because you know the guys at the next level are a lot stronger and faster, so just working on my body.”
Do you have anything you want fans to know about you as a person or player?
“I think as a person I’m a real wholesome guy. I think I’m really humble. I want them to know that from the moment I step foot on campus I’m going to work, work, work. Try to keep the Bonaventure legacy going. Do all I can to make the place better than it was before I got there.”