The tallest player in college basketball takes center stage in March Madness on Friday evening. Tacko Fall, a senior center from UFC, will be the man in the middle as the Knights face VCU in the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance in 14 years.
Tacko Fall stands 7’6. He’s been a four-year starter for UCF, blossoming into one of the country’s most menacing shot blockers and efficient scorers. If the Knights can get past VCU, they’ll Zion Williamson and Duke in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Fall has had a fascinating journey to reach the cusp of folk hero status in March Madness, Born in Senegal, he came to the United States as a teenager who was more interested in biochemistry than basketball. Now he’s the defensive backbone of a team that’s trying to win its first ever game in the big dance.
This is everything you need to know about one of college basketball’s most intriguing players.
How tall is Tacko Fall?
Fall is listed at 7’6, 310 pounds by UCF. He reportedly has an 8-foot wingspan and wears a size 22 shoe.
Here he is next to CBS reporter Tracy Wolfson, who is 5’6.
Where is Tacko Fall from?
Elhadji Tacko Sereigne Diop Fall was born in Dakar, Senegal on December 10, 1995. Soccer was Fall’s favorite sport, but his potential on the basketball court is what precipitated his move to the United States when he was 16 years old. Fall originally landed at a charter school in Texas, and moved around the country several times before setlling at Liberty Christian Prep in Tavares, Florida.
How was Tacko Fall as a recruit?
Fall played for Each 1 Teach 1 on Nike’s EYBL circuit as a recruit with Ben Simmons, Antonio Blakeney, and Fletcher Magee. He was ranked as the No. 142 recruit in the class of 2015 by 247 Sports. He held offers from Georgetown, Baylor, Tennessee, Wake Forest, Purdue, Xavier, and many more before ultimately choosing UCF.
Tacko Fall is the main character in one of the best Vines ever
We are all that kid.
Tacko Fall has helped revive UCF
Fall has been a day one contributor since arriving at UCF, anchoring its defense and providing efficient scoring in the paint. Fall started 26 of 30 games for the Knights as a freshman under then-coach Donnie Jones, leading the team in blocks (2.3 per game) and field goal percentage (75 percent) in just under 18 minutes per game for a squad that finished 12-18 overall.
Johnnie Dawkins took over ahead of Fall’s sophomore year and immediately turned around the program in a 24-12 campaign. Fall became the Knights’ third-leading scorer (10.7 points per game) and top rebounder (9.5 per game) in addition to remaining a fearsome shot blocker.
Fall only played 16 games as a junior because of a shoulder injury, but has been as good as ever during his senior year. UCF has been tremendous, earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament and heading into the 8/9 matchup at 23-8 overall.
Fall averaged 10.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game, while leading the team in box score plus-minus by a large margin. UCF sports the the country’s No. 34 defense in large part because of his rim protection and rebounding.
Tacko Fall’s mom came to watch him on senior night and it was amazing
Try to hold back tears while watching Fall’s mother walk him down the court on senior night after she hadn’t seen him in seven years. These are the moments that make college sports truly special.
Tacko Fall’s free throw form is ugly
Hack-a-Tacko could be real in the NCAA tournament. Fall shot just 36.1 percent from the foul line this year on more than five attempts per game.
Is Tacko Fall an NBA prospect?
Not really. Fall’s size would have been more valued 20 years ago at the NBA level. Today’s game is more about quickness, agility, and skill. Fall simply doesn’t have the lateral mobility to be a center in the modern NBA.
Fall is three inches taller than the NBA’s tallest player, Boban Marjanovic. The league has simply moved away from giants like him. We’re hoping he still gets a summer league invite.
Can Tacko Fall dunk without jumping?
Can we see Tacko Fall next to a normal object?
Here’s Tacko Fall and a door.
Tacko Fall is super smart
Fall reportedly held a 4.0 GPA in high school at Liberty Christian, and mastered English in eight months and scored in the 95th percentile on the SAT. Fall studies computer science at UCF and reportedly hopes to be an engineer when his basketball career ends.
We really need Tacko vs. Zion in the NCAA tournament
How fun would that be?
Fall has a great story and has been a solid player for four years. Finally, he gets his moment in the spotlight in March Madness.