Gorgui Dieng grew up playing soccer in his hometown, Kebemer, Senegal. He, of course, had friends that played basketball but the sport never interested him -- he dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. In fact, Gorgui really stumbled upon the game because of his height (he now stands at 6'11 and intimidates NBA players on a nightly basis as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves). When scouts from SEED Academy noticed his elegant footwork and competitive demeanor, they offered him an opportunity to attend the academy in 2008 to hone his skills.
Fast forward to October 31st, 2016, and Gorgui signed the largest deal (4-year $64M) ever for a Senegalese player. This was the culmination of years of hard work and perseverance (even after departing Louisville early for the NBA Draft, Gorgui completed his degree online the following year while playing in the NBA).
Today, Gorgui gives back to Senegal by returning home every summer to pay it forward. Gorgui routinely participates in SEED's annual Hoop Forum event (pictures below) and runs the annual Gorgui Dieng Summer Basketball Camp in Kebemer, Senegal (pictures below.
For a more in-depth look at Gorgui's origin story, check out this article.
Gorgui over the years in Senegal