The amplified electricity that Sekou Doumbouya, the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft of the Detroit Pistons, can be summed up in one sequence. His jam of Tristan Thompson shows his potential and he worked hard in the bubble to keep developing.
Emphatically tomahawking a one-handed sledge-hammer of a dunk on arguably one of the best defensive centers in the league will ascend you into national spotlight instantaneously. Evidence of such potential and dominance of Sekou Doumbouya can be seen below:
With such grace and pure athletic ability, Sekou Doumbouya is undeniably destined for greatness in year two and many, many years to come.
Quite remarkably, Sekou Doumbouya held the top spot for being the youngest NBA player in the league. Still an unfathomable 19 years of age, he slivered his way into qualifying for last year’s draft by a mere week.
He started his career with the Pistons G-League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive. It was only a matter of a little over a month before the Pistons called his number, and the French native received his first taste of NBA action.
The Pistons knew it would be more than the typical rookie campaign. Doumbouya was not only adjusting to the culture shock of a new country, but to broaden a embryonic-type English communication skill set.
But with a season-ending knee injury to all-star forward Blake Griffin, Doumbouya wasquickly thrust into basketball warfare at the highest level. For the first month, he seized the opportunity.
The rookie’s first five starts saw him battle against the likes of the NBA’s best in Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green, LeBron James and Kevin Love, all the while averaging an impressive 12 points and 5.9 rebounds on 49 percent shooting, and not shying away defensively. Guarding James, he held him below 50% shooting from the field.
The encouraging part of his season came in the first half of January, where he scored at least 10 points in seven of eight games. Doumbouya collected his first double-double against Golden State with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, a +23 rating on the floor and shot a scalding 4-for-7 from behind the three-point line.
His best performance was against an Eastern Conference powerhouse, the Boston Celtics. He dazzled his way to 24 points in just over 27 minutes as Detroit pulled off the upset. Pistons.com beat writer Keith Langlois caught valuable insight that night from his peers in Boston.
“That’s ‘The Prince,’ ” Markieff Morris said, cocking his head in the direction of Doumbouya to his right in the visitors locker room at TD Garden that night. “You’ll see. In about five years, he’s going to have Detroit on his back. I promise you that.”
His teammates were taken aback from his fearless competitiveness and raw ability to get buckets.
“I’m just surprised at the way he’s not scared of matchups,” Derrick Rose said. “LeBron, Kawhi, Paul George, Draymond, K-Love. Person after person, but he doesn’t care. That’s what this league is about – no boys allowed.”
Although Doumbouya was rolling in January, he ultimately was jolted back to reality in the weeks that followed. In March, Doumbouya was shipped back to Grand Rapids. There, he lit up the Maine Red Claws for 30 points and eight rebounds, and he hit the game-winning jump shot for a 102-101 victory.