Pops Ndiaye is a native of Raleigh, N.C.
June 21, 2013
This is the third of a multi-part series highlighting the new additions to the Tennessee men's basketball team. In this edition of "Hello My Name Is...", Vol hoops chat with junior center Rawane 'Pops' Ndiaye.
Q: You've lived all over the world, tell us a little about that and some interesting facts/best things about some of those places? A: "I lived in Africa, the States, and I've lived in France. The amazing thing about Africa is everyone's amazing spirit. It's definitely a fun place. There are a lot of things to learn and discover there."
Q: We hear you like to dress up spiffy and step out every now and then. Tell us about your suit game. A: "(laughs) I mean I have a pretty nice suit game. But it's nothing special, you know. You just have to wear the European style."
Q:What other sports did you play growing up, and what positions did you play in each? A: "I played soccer. I was a great defender and goalie."
Q: When did you start playing basketball? A: "I started playing basketball about four years ago. I started playing because of my height. Some people saw me and said I really should try playing."
Q: What current NBA big man do you enjoy watching? A: "Tim Duncan. He is just so skilled around the basket, has a soft touch around the glass, and knows how to use his body in the post."
Q: Did you have any professional athletes you idolized growing up? A: "It would be soccer. I used to love watching Ronaldinho and Iker Casillas from Real Madrid. Casillas was a goalkeeper like I was so that really inspired me."
Q: What are your early impressions of Tennessee so far?
A: "I love the atmosphere here. Everyone is really friendly. I just love it. I love the coaching staff and my teammates. We have a good spirit about us. I'm looking forward to the start of the season."
Q: What made you choose Tennessee over the other schools recruiting you? A: "This ended up being my best visit because everyone was straightforward and truthful with me. I love the team chemistry that we have. The coaching staff is all about hard work and dedication."
Q: What do you hope to bring to the Vols this season? A: "I want to do whatever I can, whatever coach wants me to do. I want to be a role model for the whole team."
Q: You had a cousin that played at North Carolina in the 90's. Have you received any advice from him on playing basketball at Tennessee? A: "He always tells me to just do what I am supposed to do. Get in the gym and get extra shots up and play hard. You want to make sure everyone respects you."
Q: Do you have any hidden talents that most people aren't aware of? A: "I'm a funny guy. People don't usually expect that."
Q: Who has been the most influential person in your life? A: "My high school coach from Dallas. He really made an impact on my life. He is like a father to me. He has shown me everything. He has always been there for me. He showed me how to be a man and do things on my own. In addition, my junior college coaches really helped me out."