Beyond the Lottery: Bismack Biyombo

Bismack Biyombo is an 18-year-old big man from Democratic Republic of the Congo. He stands 6’9” and has a 7’7” wingspan that allows him to contest virtually every shot in his defensive area. The 245 lb. Biyombo already has an NBA body and is sure to grow stronger and thicker as he matures. He runs the floor extremely well for someone his size and girth. Biyombo is constantly hustling and always crashes the offensive glass, which leads to easy put-backs. Having only participated in organized basketball for approximately four years, Biyombo possesses tremendous potential.

Biyombo made his professional debut in the top-tier Spanish ACB League with Fuenlabrada against DKV Joventut on January 9th, 2011 and scored 5 points to go along with 7 rebounds in just 13 minutes of play. Although he’s only competed in the Spanish Pro League for a short time, Biyombo has displayed marked improvement. His team defense and overall positioning have advanced, as has his low post game.

At the 2011 Nike Hoops Summit, Biyombo played for the World Select Team (against the USA Select Team) and recorded a triple double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks. He has become something of an internet sensation due to his exciting and uber-athletic highlights. Biyombo’s vast collection of rudimentary spin moves, up fakes and jump hooks will surely become more polished and refined the longer he plays and practices with an NBA roster.

Biyombo will probably not be a lottery selection because his overall game is still very unpolished, and he oftentimes commits basic blunders due to a lack of formal basketball experience. There are also questions about his real age, with some reports putting it as high as 23-years-old. A true evaluation of his ability to compete and contribute in the paint at the NBA level is hard to formulate due to the fact that he hasn’t faced a lot of quality big men in his short basketball career.

However despite being somewhat of a wild card, Biyombo will be picked in the first round because of his giant upside and his solid defensive play. Biyombo is reportedly a good teammate and a very coachable player. He speaks English well too, which will save him from the many hurdles associated with foreign players attempting to assimilate to American culture. One thing is for certain, this Congolese center is on the rise.

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