Senegalese prospect Mouhamed Gueye grew up playing soccer, but eventually transitioned to basketball as he continued to grow into his lanky 7’0” frame. Not too long after working out with a trainer in Africa, Prolific Prep became interested in Gueye’s talents and brought him into their program. Gueye spent his first year learning the game behind top 2020 prospects such as Jalen Green [G-League Ignite], Nimari Burnett [Alabama] and Coleman Hawkins [University of Illinois]. After spending the 2019-20 season on the sidelines, Gueye was eager to show people how good he is and could be as a player coming into this year. After a few videos surfaced last summer, people began to take notice and it quickly became apparent Gueye has all the talent to be a special player in the class of 2022.
Gueye brings a rare blend of size, mobility, coordination, and versatility to the table. After showcasing his talent and development throughout this season, Gueye has jumped from being unranked to #34 in the country in the 2022 class, per 247Sports.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Gueye discusses growing up in Senegal, his adjustment to Prolific Prep, his recruitment update, his off-court interests, and much more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Mouhamed Gueye, from Dakar, Senegal:
Pro Insight: Talk about your background.
Mouhamed Gueye: I’m from Senegal, West Africa. My family is kind of a basketball family because my brother played basketball and my uncle played basketball. I’ve got cousins who play for the national team. I’ve got cousins who play in Europe and stuff. I was playing soccer at first, but my mom kept forcing me to play basketball, so I ended up playing basketball, I switched it. I’ve got two brothers and one sister. My older brother has a gym and he was working me out when I was there. My sister does hair, she used to play basketball too. She’s tall, she’s like 6’4”-6’5” tall. I come from a good family, middle class family. We were not poor. We had fun, it was pretty competitive though. I’m the youngest one so they used to bully me, all my brothers used to bully me. That helped me a lot right now being here playing basketball. I’m grateful to be part of that.
PI: What are your current measurements?
MG: I’m 7’0” 208 pounds and my wingspan is 7’5”.
PI: Where do you get your height from?
MG: My grandma is tall. I think everybody in my family is above 6’0”. My dad is like 6’4”, my mom is not that tall, she’s like 5’10”, but yeah everybody in my family is above 6’0”.
PI: Are there any other 7-footers?
MG: Oh yeah a lot of 7-footers. My cousin who plays for the national team, he’s like 7’1”. I’ve got a cousin who plays in Europe who is like 7’0”. [Others who are] 6’8”, 6’11”...pretty tall.
PI: How did you start playing basketball?
MG: I always used to play soccer and every time I would see my brother go play basketball I was like, “nah I will never play basketball.” Because in Senegal everyone plays soccer, I don’t care where you’re from, they give you a soccer ball and go play. And I started watching the NBA and falling in love with KD. I like his style and everything about him. I started watching my brother play, I’d go see him play. It was fun for me to watch him play. I started picking up the ball, dribbling and shooting by myself, playing with my friends. My mom was putting pressure on me to stop playing soccer because I was growing fast. I was taller than all of my friends. She was like, “just go play basketball” and I started playing. I learned it quick, I learned a lot. We were working out by myself with my brother who is my coach. I’ve got a coach from France, his name is Mamadou [Cisse]. He was my personal coach in Senegal — we were working out a lot and that’s how I ended up here. He connected me with Philippe [Doherty] and that’s how I ended up at Prolific [Prep]. I’ve been playing for about four or five years now.
PI: When did you start playing organized basketball?
MG: That’s the crazy thing, I first started playing organized basketball at Prolific [Prep]. Like I never played on a team before.
PI: What's the story on how you ended up with Prolific?
MG: Mamadou actually, he has a connection with Prolific. He used to send players all over the place in the United States. He’s Senegalese, but he lives in France. During the summer he was working me out. He took some pictures and videos of me and sent them to Philippe. They liked me and three months later I ended up here.
PI: How has growing up playing soccer benefitted you as a basketball player?
MG: I think soccer helped me a lot because I’m able to move like a guard. I’ve got good footwork and I’m pretty fast for a 7-footer. People say they don’t see that a lot here and I think because of soccer I have all that.
PI: What was that adjustment like coming from Dakar, Senegal to the United States?
MG: I think the first thing was the cold, I never experienced that. In Senegal it’s always warm. I first got here on November 9th, my birthday, and it was like freezing. I was not used to it. After that the food was pretty hard — I live in Napa and they don’t got a lot of African food here. They don’t got nothing, they’ve got a lot of Mexican food, but definitely the food was hard, too.
PI: What was the adjustment like on the court?
MG: It was pretty hard. My first year here they had Jalen [Green], Nimari [Burnett], Coleman [Hawkins], the top of the top of high school basketball. So for me coming from not knowing what organized basketball looked like to jumping to that was pretty hard. I didn’t know when to dribble the ball all the way or all that. Like I have to respect what the coach is saying, I have to listen, know the plays, it was a lot and it was really hard, too.
PI: How much have you learned from being with t