Gaston Diedhiou — yes, that Gaston Diedhiou — is a basketball champion.
The recent Golden Gophers graduate scored 11 points in the Midwest Basketball League final Sunday afternoon to help his TC Elite squad win a nailbiter 106-104 over the Fort Wayne Vision at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn.
Diedhiou, who finished a four-year Gophers career over the winter, landed with the Elite thanks to current teammate Elijah Sabah, a Twin Cities native who was good friends with Diedhiou during his time at the University of Minnesota. Elite head coach Tamara Moore also had a good relationship with Diedhiou’s former teammate Jarvis Johnson, making the Elite a logical landing spot for the Senegalese big man.
Here’s a sampling of Diedhiou’s play in the game. It’s not necessarily a flattering portrayal of his performance, but Diedhiou did play some key minutes and scored two baskets in a close fourth quarter.
Diedhiou scored just 54 points in his Gophers career. Despite seeing the floor occasionally as a freshman, he didn’t develop into the reliable option Richard Pitino might’ve envisioned when he recruited him.
Now Diedhiou gets a fresh start in the MBL.
The Midwest Basketball League was founded in 2015 and provides an avenue for players to work their way up into more prominent developmental leagues.
TC Elite knocked off the two-time defending champion Cedar Valley CourtKings in the semi-final to earn a shot at the title. Their victory Sunday over the favored Vision gave Diedhiou a chance to hoist a trophy.