The Illinois basketball team made the cut for four-star 2022 power forward, Mady Traore.
Traore, a 6-foot-11, 195-pound power forward, has moved one step closer to making his college basketball home official.
After months of anticipation, the France-native, who currently resides in Cumberland, Maryland, released his top eight on December 30. To no one’s surprise, the Orange and Blue were on his list, along with Oregon, Pittsburgh, Auburn, USC, Kansas, Florida, and Virginia Tech.
Given his recent announcement, the Writing Illini took the time to interview the No. 3 player from Maryland to get his thoughts on the basketball program as a whole and how he views his immediate future upon the conclusion of his high school career.
Traore has a distinct mindset as to how he sets his game apart from the rest of his peers, making him a team-first player.
“So I think, I grow on my mentality to be like [a] killer on the court and be great with my teammates,” he said.
Traore is inspired by some of the NBA’s best, and while he has his own style of play, there are two players that he compares himself to.
“I think a mix with Giannis [Antetokounmpo] and Kevin Durant because I like to drive on [the] paint, defend the paint, and shoot after a dribble and off the dribble,” he said.
Traore hopes to improve on these fundamentals during his final two years of high school basketball.
As for Traore’s team, the 2020-2021 season has yet to tip-off due to COVID-19, as Maryland high school sports are on hold until further notice. Therefore, the Bishop Walsh Spartans will have to wait to build off of a 20-12 season from 2019.
What would a Mady Traore commitment do for Illinois?
If Traore were to end up in Champaign, this would give Brad Underwood some stability on both ends of the floor for years to come. Traore was recently seen at a private workout session hosted by The Grind Performance, giving fans an inside look at Traore’s skills from a more personable level.
Check out the video above, as Traore practices free-throw shooting, driving in the paint, and so much more.
Let’s hope the Illini can win out and snag a key 2022 recruit, as Traore’s stock continues to grow.