BYU is in the midst of off-season practices and workouts. On Wednesday, the team did its annual NBA combine testing where they do many of the same tests and measurements that are done at the yearly combine for NBA Draft hopefuls.
One person that popped out is big man Atiki Ally Atiki. According to JUCO Advocate’s Brandon Goble — the person who found Atiki in Tanzania — Atiki posted a 39” inch standing vertical and 45” max vertical at BYU’s combine tests. If you don’t believe it, watch the video BYU posted and you can see him touching the 39” marker on the standing vertical.
Is a 39inch standing and 45inch max vert good? I think that’s good. https://t.co/VuhptBGGWe— JUCOadvocate - Brandon Goble (@JUCOadvocate) July 29, 2022
To put into perspective how bonkers that is, that max vertical would be the third highest in NBA combine HISTORY. The standing vertical would also be the third highest all-time. The highest max vert is 48 inches by Keon Johnson, who broke the record in 2021. Prior to that it was 45.5 inches. Atiki’s is even more astounding considering he is 6-foot-9. Most guys who jump that high are guards or wings. The two guys ahead of him are 6-foot-5.
Atiki’s vertical numbers at the 2022 combine would’ve been the best by several inches. The highest standing vert was 35.5 inches and the highest max vert was 41.5 inches.
The Tanzanian native came to BYU last year as an athletic, albeit very raw, big man. Atiki was mostly supposed to sit and learn behind veteran bigs Gavin Baxter and Richard Harward, but was forced into action early when they went down with season-ending injuries. At 6-foot-9 with a 9-foot-2 standing reach, Atiki had played less than 30 games of organized basketball in his career prior to coming to BYU. His senior year in Canada was cancelled dude to COVID and his entrance into the US was delayed last year due to Visa delays. Less than five years ago, he was just learning the game of basketball and how to dunk.
Part 1….trying to teach Atiki how to dunk in October 2017…..(cont…) pic.twitter.com/2slWaK25O6— JUCOadvocate - Brandon Goble (@JUCOadvocate) January 23, 2022
Now, he’s out here touching to top of a 13-foot backboard and developing his game. This video also further corroborates Atiki’s 45-inch max vertical. His standing reach is 9-foot-2 and the top of the backboard is 13 feet. If you do the math that’s 46 inches he has to jump to get there.
And here’s a video of Atiki Ally Atiki slapping the top of the backboard.— JUCOadvocate - Brandon Goble (@JUCOadvocate) July 26, 2022
Atiki’s development is one of the keys to BYU’s success. He came to BYU with such little basketball experience, and now has a full, unrestricted off-season for the first time in his life to work on his game with D1 resources. He has even been hitting three pointers this off-season.
Schools such as Baylor, Michigan State, Oklahoma, and several others recruited Atiki because of his raw athleticism and high ceiling. We saw bits last year, including three games where recorded 3+ blocks, and BYU’s ceiling as a team will partially depend on Atiki’s development. Atiki was thrust into action as a freshman last year, but that should pay dividends as he plays a major role for this year’s team. At a minimum, I think we can expect him to be one of the conference’s top shot blockers and the host of regular block parties.