Waves' Diawara Named to French Olympic Basketball Team
July 12, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. - Yakhouba Diawara will become the second Pepperdine product ever to compete in the sport of men's basketball at the Olympics, as the Waves' alum was named to France's national team on Wednesday.
Diawara played two seasons for the Waves (2003-04 and 2004-05) after transferring from Southern Idaho. Despite missing the first half of the season, he was named to the All-West Coast Conference first team in 2004 after averaging 18.9 points and 6.6 rebounds.
Though undrafted, the 6-foot-7, 225-pound guard/forward would eventually make the NBA and played two seasons each with the Denver Nuggets (2006-07 and 2007-08) and the Miami Heat (2008-09 and 2009-10). Most recently, he's been playing overseas in Italy.
The French Federation announced on Wednesday that Diawara would replace Charles Kahudi on the previously announced 12-man roster. The French squad includes such NBA standouts as Nicolas Batum, Boris Diaw, Tony Parker and Ronny Turiaf.
France begins Olympic play in London on Sunday, July 29, against the United States.
The Waves' Marcos Leite played in three Olympics for Brazil (1972, 1980 and 1984). Another Pepperdine connection with Olympic men's basketball is Brian Goorjian, a former player who was Australia's head coach at the 2004 and 2008 Games.
On the women's side, Pepperdine alum Miranda Ayim will be the first-ever Wave to take part in the women's basketball competition at the Olympics. She helped her native Canada earn a spot at a qualifying tournament last week.