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BYU Basketball Player Preview: Atiki Ally Atiki

We look at the uber-athletic big man from Tanzania.

Atiki Ally Atiki

Height: 6-9

Weight: 213

Hometown: Mwanza, Tanzania

High School: London Basketball Academy (Ontario, Canada)

Class: Freshman

Atiki Ally Atiki Player Preview

Atiki is a physical freak. He is a chiseled 6-foot-9 and has elite athleticism and measurables. BYU had a combine in early October, and a source close to Atiki told me that he measured with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, 9-foot-2 standing reach, and 40 inch vertical jump. BYU doesn’t get athletes like that often, if ever.

Atiki is raw and BYU fans will need to be patient with him. He grew up in Tanzania went to London Basketball Academy in Canada during high school. He didn’t play against great competition and his senior year was essentially cancelled due to COVID-19.

He has already experienced significant growth the last few months under Chris Burgess, but he is still learning the game of basketball. Atiki will get playing time since BYU doesn’t have great size on the roster, but we may not see a real tangible impact until WCC play.

Regardless, BYU fans should be patient but have high hopes for Atiki as they transition to the Big 12. There is a reason he had scholarship offers from schools such as Oklahoma, West Virginia and San Diego State and was getting looked at by Baylor and Duke. He absolutely has the tools to be BYU’s starting center in 1-2 years and matchup with some of the best front court players in the country when BYU gets to the Big 12.

Player Comp: Serge Ibaka

I try not to be hyperbolic and am not saying he’ll be Serge from day one, or maybe ever, but that is what his ceiling and player comp is. I spoke with Brandon Goble at JUCO Advocate, who identified Atiki in Africa and brought him to Canada, and this is who he compared Atiki to. Both are similar in size, wingspan and athleticism. Serge can shoot threes now, but he didn’t really do that in the NBA until 4-5 years in. Atiki isn’t a three-point shooter now, but he has the coordination to potentially develop a three-point shot by year three or four at BYU.

Shooting won’t be his calling card by any means, but he has the size and athleticism to eventually affect the game with rebounding and defense the way Ibaka has done during his NBA career.

2021-2022 Expectations: Situational Player

As explained above, Atiki is a raw player. I don’t think he will be part of BYU’s main rotation initially and will usually be behind Richard Harward, Gavin Baxter, Fousseyni Traore and Caleb Lohner for frontcourt minutes, but he will find his way onto the floor. BYU will play teams that are big and Harward and other bigs will get into foul trouble, which will necessitate Atiki gets on the floor. He doesn’t need to be a scoring threat, but if he can be a rim protector and rebound well, then this will season will be a success for him as he learns and develops.