Updated: Jun 11
Back for another rendition, the 2021 Great Western Classic hosted a plethora of talented players and teams from around the west coast. In an action-packed weekend at American Fork High School in American Fork, UT, Pro Insight was on-hand to cover the event and caught up with Dream City Christian (AZ) big man Yohan Traore.
Still settling in with his new teammates, Traore is a talented prospect who can stretch the floor, act as a lob target, create his own looks from the perimeter, and operate efficiently inside. After garnering plenty of much-earned attention over the spring and summer with Southern Assault (TX) and Dream Vision (CA), Traore looks to continue building on that momentum as he embarks on his final high school season with Dream City.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Traore discussed his basketball journey, his recruitment update, playing for the French national team, his off-court interests, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Yohan Traore, from Tours, France:
Yohan Traore: I started playing basketball when I was seven years old. I played soccer first though, when I was six years old. Then I started playing basketball with my cousin and friends. I was going to the playground like every night. So I started falling in love with basketball and everything. I played basketball in my hometown from seven years old until 14 years old and then I moved to Paris, France to play for INSEP.
PI: Where are you from originally?
YT: I’m from Tours, France. It’s a little city like a couple hours away from Paris.
PI: How did you make your way over to the states?
YT: So I came like a year ago. I played for Prolific Prep (CA) and then I started playing AAU in March until July. I played with Southern Assault (TX). We had a good team with Keyonte [George]. Then for the live period I moved to San Diego to play for Dream Vision (CA).
PI: Describe this past summer — how beneficial was it for you?
YT: It was nice, man. I wanted to show people that I could play because I didn’t really get to play at Prolific Prep. So whenever I had a chance to play in AAU I got to show everybody my skills and what I can do. So everybody was kind of surprised, but I already had it.
PI: Describe your game.
YT: I’m a stretch-4. I can go to the basket, shoot, create for other people around me, defend, block shots, grab rebounds, and I can do everything on the court.
PI: What are some improvement areas?
YT: I think I can get better on my rebounding.
PI: What are you doing to improve as a rebounder?
YT: I’ve been working on it with the team as well personally in my free time.
PI: What are some underrated aspects of your game?
YT: I can handle the ball. People don’t know that, but I’m going to show them.
PI: Any players you like to watch or model your game after?
YT: Not really, but I’ve been watching Brandon Ingram [New Orleans Pelicans], Jayson Tatum [Boston Celtics], Kevin Durant [Brooklyn Nets], etc. All the players who can play outside and inside.
PI: How do you see your role at the next level?
YT: I want to be a leader, for sure.
PI: What type of leader are you?
YT: Like trying to be a leader for my team. Being able to help my teammates and always giving positive energy.
PI: You recently chose to play for Dream City Chrisitan — what led to that decision?
YT: It’s a better opportunity to be able to show my game and I wanted to play with Milos [Uzan] because we have good chemistry. We played all summer long with Dream Vision and we won the championship. I just wanted to get back to it with him.
PI: Milos seems like a fun PG to play with — why do you enjoy playing with him?
YT: Yeah, he’s got a lot of energy, he’s unselfish and he always looks out for his teammates. So I think it was a great place for me to play.
PI: How do you feel like your game has improved since joining Dream City Chrisitan?
YT: I think I’ve gotten better at everything. I’m more confident and I’ve got more responsibility.
PI: What’s the latest with your recruitment?
YT: So I took visits to Michigan, Memphis, Texas Tech, and Kansas.
PI: What are their recruitment pitches to you?
YT: They want somebody who is going to get in and be a leader and be ready to play. So I think I’m that type of guy.
PI: What’s your timeline for a decision?
YT: I don’t know, yet. I think I’m going to take my time, keep building my relationships with the coaches, watching practice and games, and I’ll make my decision from there.
PI: What would you like out of your school of choice?
YT: A good relationship with the coaches, being able to play my game and play through mistakes and be somewhere where I can be comfortable. That’s the only thing that matters.
PI: You’ve played with the French National Team in the past, right?
YT: Yeah I played with the 15U and 16U teams.
PI: What was that experience like?
YT: That was incredible. Being able to represent your country, play in front of a lot of people, you got your jersey behind your back so every time you step on the floor you’ve got to show that you can play. Always remember you’ve got to represent your country so it was pretty nice.
PI: How do you like to spend your time off the court?
YT: Off the court I’m like a chill guy. I don’t do that much...just like chilling at the house, watching YouTube videos, playing video games, sometimes hanging out with my friends and that’s it.
PI: If you had one hashtag to describe yourself — what would that hashtag be and why?
YT: #cool. Because I’m cool [laughs].