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Former U-High Standout Etches Name into Big Ten History

Former U-High Standout Etches Name into Big Ten History

Keita Bates Diop, a Forward on the Ohio State Men’s Basketbal team, and former U-High standout, receives a prestigious award. (Photo Courtesy Ohio State University Men’s Basketball/Facebook)

NORMAL – Former University High School Basketball Forward Keita Bates Diop recently won BIG-10 Player of the Year.

The redshirt junior has started in all 31 games this season for the Buckeyes, averaging 19.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

As a freshman at Ohio State, he suited up in all 33 games for the Buckeyes, shooting 46% from the field.

Bates-Diop went on to start all 33 games for Ohio State as a Sophomore. He was tied for the team lead averaging 6.4 rebounds per game. He also had five double-doubles on the season, ranking him second on the team.

As a Junior, Bates-Diop was only able to suit up for nine games, as a stress fracture in his left leg sidelined him for the remainder of the season.

Looking to rebound as a redshirt, he performed stronger than ever. He scored three consecutive double-doubles in contests against Robert Morris, Radford, and Texas Southern. He was named the BIG-10 player of the week four times throughout the season. After returning to the court for the first time since the previous season, he attracted attention and was awarded Men’s BIG-10 Player of the Year.

As a four year standout at U-high, Bates-Diop played under Head Coach Bob Fitzgerald at the Varsity level. Over the course of four years, he was awarded First Team All State three times in Class 3A. As a Senior, he averaged led U-High to a third-consecutive Corn Belt Conference championship with a 22-5 record. The win extended their winning streak in against Corn Belt teams to 42 games.

After hearing about the news, coach Fitzgerald expressed his thoughts on his former player:

“You’re elated to see a young man of Keita’s character win something so prestigious” said coach Fitzgerald. “You know how hard he worked for something like that during his four years here and since he’s been at Ohio State.”

Bates-Diop is also one of ten semifinalists for the Naismith award for College Player of the Year. The winner will be announced on April 1st.

Anthony Ferretti contributed to this story.

Anthony Ferretti

March 1st, 2018

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