Canterbury’s center has been one of the best players outside the USA Team in the last U’17 FIBA World Championship. He has been in the All-Tournament Team and he got 20.6 ppg, 16.9 rpp (1st) 1.3 bpg. According to Synergy Sports, Oumar Ballo recorded 32.1 PER (5th, 1st outside USA Team) Scored 1 point per possession/game using 20.1 possession per game (the highest in the tournament). Ballo also was MVP in last U18 Spanish NT in May.
There are a few black spots in Ballo’s tournament. The worst performance of malian center was against the USA and Serbia, probably the two best frontcourts in the last competition. Ballo needs the ball in his hands to be dominant and he could only shoot six times against USA. Against Serbia, Ballo actually played well, but he only scored 6/16. Anyway, he has had a solid championship since then. He also did the most impressive performance in the tournament scoring 32 points, grabbing 32 rebounds (all-time record in FIBA u17) 1 assist, 1 steals and 2 blocks against Dominican Republic.
Acording to Eurohopes, Oumar Ballo will continue his career at Findlay Prep in Nevada. There is nothing official yet, but it seems a legit movement to improve his physical condition and become recruited by a college.
Ballo is not the typical african prospect who used to play in spanish youth basketball. He is big, wide and athletic He is 6-9/6-10 (2.06m-2.08m) with 7-5 (2.30m) wingspan and he is around 260lbs (120 kg). but he may be one of the most skilled centers that I’ve ever seen at this stage. His movement is fluid and coordinated. His footwork in the paint is impressive, he knows how to use his body for taking over around the rim. He can finish with both hands, but he tends to use his left hand in the post and shots with his right. He is also trying to put the ball on the floor in the mid range with very effective results. He also knows how to play above the rim, but he didn’t tend to expose his physical in this kind of moves. He doesn’t tend to play pick&roll situations, but his combination of footwork and touch around the rim are great tools to work in the future.
Another aspect where Ballo is superlative is at the offensive rebound. He grabs 5.9 per game (1st) and he was also the best rebounder of the tournament (16.9rbpg – 20rpg in 40min). Oumar has very good instincts and he uses long wingspan and his incredible touch near the rim to get easy buckets.
Ballo is not a shooter, but he makes some mid/long-range jumps during the tournament. His shooting mechanic may not be one of the best, but his shooting stroke is fluid. He needs to improve at FT line where he got only a 52.8% of 53 shots. He did better at U18 Spanish NT where he made a 63.26% of 49. When he gets to the line his shooting stroke becomes more robotic and his rate of success is lower.
On defensive end he is mainly a rim protector and a top defensive rebounder. His team played a lot of zones to take advantage of his physical abilites and made things easy for Ballo. He is dominant in youth competitions, but he will need to work on his defensive footwork and speed to defend far from the rim where he isn’t so effective.