Blue White Illustrated

November 2021

Penn State Sports Magazine

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 42 of 67

N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 1 4 3 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M W hen top-150 forward prospect Kebba Njie made his college com- mitment, the details proved to be the deciding factor. The Penn State basketball staff pre- sented Njie with an in-depth plan meant to transform him into the best player he can be. As he made his choice, that level of care was what pushed Njie over the top. "Something that stood out to me on the visit was their individual workout plans, and how they can translate it into the game," Njie said. "The coaches did a really good job of demonstrating that to me. They showed me other players who they think that I could be like, and I think that really influenced me to make my decision a lot. That was a major part of my decision, the individual part of it. I know that once you get to college, there is a lot of team stuff that you do with ev- eryone, but I want to see us working out one-on-one." Njie was the first of two big men to join Micah Shrewsberry's class of 2022, along with Philly native Demetrius Lil- ley, who also spent the weekend of Sept. 12 on Penn State's campus for an official visit. Njie attends La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind. The school is known for pro- ducing elite-level basketball talent, and Njie brings some skill and style to the big-man position. At 6-foot-9, 200 pounds, he can be seen shooting from beyond the 3-point arc on his game film, and it's clear he's a player who is comfortable with the ball in his hands. That fits Shrewsberry's vision for Njie's future in a Penn State jersey. "They see me as a versatile big who can play from the inside and play from the outside, kind of like your modern-day big, being able to have the confidence to bring up the ball, make plays for our team and be a decision-maker, but also at the same time, be able to go and get my own," Njie said. Njie is rated as the No. 15 power forward in the class according to, and the No. 147 overall prospect in the na- tion. He is the second top-150 prospect in Shrewsberry's first class as the Nittany Lions' head coach, joining Philly guard Jameel Brown. For reference, Penn State previously signed just one top-150 prospect from 2017 through 2021 — guard Myles Dread, who begins his senior season this fall. Njie said he wants to build a legacy for himself and the rest of Shrewsberry's first class when he arrives. "I see it as us coming in and build- ing Penn State history," he said. "I think that this could be the start of something great within their basketball program that they've never had. We could be the first people to do that." Njie chose the Nittany Lions over a list of three schools that also included But- ler and Kansas State. He moved quickly after receiving an offer on Aug. 19, an- nouncing his verbal commitment less than a month later. Shrewsberry's influence was a key fac- tor in his decision. Njie cited the head coach's ability to balance high expecta- tions with a lighthearted attitude. "He's a high-character guy, always has positive energy," Njie said. "He's the type of coach where, even though some- thing might not be going your way, he's not the one to get mad about it, because that doesn't really help with anything. He's always positive, he has high energy, pushes his guys. He sets the bar high, as far as your character. He's one of those dudes that you want to surround your- self with, and that goes for the whole coaching staff. They were all lively and had energy." ■ David Sisk of Tar Heel Illustrated had a chance to evaluate Kebba Njie at the Mid- west Mania event in Westfield, Ind., in April. Sisk noted that the future Penn State com- mitment "showed flashes" but "is still ex- tremely raw." "Njie is a strong looking post who can cre- ate room on his seal," Sisk wrote. "He was fronted right off the bat and dunked off a lob. I liked how he kept the ball high. In another instance, he whipped his man on his hip who was defending the wing entry on the top side. Off the catch, Njie did an inside pivot then attacked the rim for a powerful two- handed dunk. He has been well-schooled in posting, footwork and chinning the ball. "He is still very uncertain when he has to score over his man. He makes himself smaller by ducking and doesn't have a go-to move he is comfortable with. Despite that, you can see the raw potential. Njie is indeed an intriguing prospect." P L A Y E R E V A L U A T I O N Highly Rated Forward Likes Shrewsberry's Plan DAV I D E C K E R T | D AV I D E C K E R T 9 8 @ G M A I L . C O M COMMITMENT PROFILE KEBBA NJIE Njie, a three-star prospect from La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., is rated by as the nation's No. 15 power forward and the No. 147 overall player in the class of 2022. PHOTO COURTESY KEBBA NJIE TWITTER

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue White Illustrated - November 2021