Quinnipiac Gets Ousmane
October 10th, 2010
New England Recruiting Report
Commitment to Quinnipiac is only the latest chapter in Ousmane Drame’s story.
Ousmane Drame made a name for himself this summer, standing out with his Boston Warriors squad during the month of July and having attracted a long following of division I suitors by the time AAU nationals came along.
While local coaches and fans alike quickly became familiar with Drame and his talents, there were very few who really understood all that the developing big men had to persevere through to get to that point.
Born in Guinea, a small country in western Africa, Drame didn’t come to the United States until 2003. When he began his freshmen year at New Mission High School he was a gangly 5’11” student who had no interest in the game of basketball. It wasn’t until his sophomore year, after sprouting up four inches, that the school’s head coach, Cory McCarthy, finally convinced him to come out for the team.
“When I grew to six-three as a sophomore the coaching staff was on me saying I should try playing and that’s when I started getting into the gym and realizing I kind of liked the sport,” Drame recalled.
“When the other kids would be in the gym practicing, Ousmane was always off to the side just shooting,” McCarthy said. “I saw he had a really good touch and he could always pass so I thought he would be a good high post player.”
While Drame did decide to go out for the team as a sophomore he hit a major obstacle early in his career when he was diagnosed with Oswood-Schlatter Disease, a common but debilitating cause of knee pain in young athletes typically caused by a period of rapid growth combined with a high level of sporting activity.
The disease flared up at various points throughout his junior and senior years, and even occasionally this summer on the AAU cicuit.
“I have trouble running and walking when it happens,” Drame said. “Last year there was a time where I could barely run, but I played through it because losing wasn’t an option. Cory wanted me off the court but he couldn’t get me to stop. I would just ice after the game and not complain.”
Drame’s perseverance paid off as New Mission captured an MIAA championship during his senior season, just months before his breakout performance on the AAU circuit.
“His career has kind of gone as the Osgood has,” McCarthy said. “His bones got jumbled up and he had to grow out of it. That’s why it was so important for him to do his post-graduate year at Marianapolis, to get that extra time.”
Drame has been completely pain free since arriving at Marianapolis this fall and is making huge strides having already added 15 pounds of muscle to his frame.
He took his official visit to Quinnipiac last weekend and came away impressed with what the University and the basketball program had to offer. On Saturday he sat down with McCarthy and some of his old teammates at New Mission before finalizing his decision and making a verbal commitment to the Bobcats.
“It’s a beautiful school, a good academic school, and it’s closer home than many of the other schools that were recruiting me,” Drame said. “Coach Moore and Coach Eaton did a good job recruiting me and have been up to Marianapolis almost every week telling me how I would fit in and make a difference.”
“Quinnipiac got an absolute steal,” McCarthy said. “In two years he has gone from a kid who never played basketball, or even watched it on T.V., to a guy who could be a centerpiece of a division I program. It’s almost a miracle that a kid can pick up the game that fast.”
With his journey now almost complete and his disease hopefully behind him once and for all, the best is likely still yet to come.
“I know I’m going to get a lot better. Quinnipiac has a good coaching staff and weight trainer. I have to keep working hard, enjoy my time over there, and hopefully make a difference,” Drame said. “I plan on doing great things for them.”