Bangaly Fofana

Height: 7'0" (213 cm)
Weight: 214 lbs (97 kg)
Position: PF/C
Hometown: Paris, France
Current Team: Evreux
Win - Loss: 1 - 1


2011 adidas Eurocamp: Day Three and Final Recap

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Bradley Thayer
Bradley Thayer
Jun 14, 2011, 07:14 pm
A raw big man that we haven't mentioned in detail, but who showed very well at the camp overall, was automatically-eligible Frenchman Bangaly Fofana. Fofana is fairly skinny, especially in the lower body, but is long, springy and plays very hard. He put on a clinic over the course of this camp for how to defend the pick and roll, stepping up and hedging on the perimeter impressively, and showing very nimble feet getting back into the lane. His 7-5 wingspan allows him to make a significant impact on the game defensively, particularly in the paint where he blocked and altered plenty of shots.

He's a limited player in pretty much every facet offensively, but does have some room for growth considering that he's only been playing basketball for about five years. Coaches who have worked with him—such as French National team head coach Vincent Collet, who was one of the instructors at this camp—say very good things about his attitude and work ethic, which is very important for a prospect like him. To really reach his potential Fofana must develop the lower body strength needed to hold his own defensively inside the paint, as well as increase his toughness-level and garner more experience.

European Roundup: Super Mature Aguilar

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Nov 30, 2009, 10:18 pm
A rare NBA draft oriented Euroleague highlight came this week from French big man Bangaly Fofana, putting up 6 points and 10 rebounds in 16 minutes in ASVEL-Villeurbanne’s important victory over Cibona Zagreb.

Tony Parker’s team—the reigning champions, sporting the most expensive roster in the league by far-- has been struggling badly to start off the season, finding itself at the bottom of the French league standings with a shocking 2-7 record, and kicking off the Euroleague 0-4 as well.

Fofana seemed to give them a spark in that Cibona game, running the floor purposefully and crashing the glass like a mad man. Unfortunately for him, the abundance of film that we’re able to see now against high-level competition makes it painfully obvious that he can’t be considered anything more than a fringe prospect.

Fofana lacks agility in a serious way, looking uncoordinated in many of his movements and having great difficulty finding ways to score if he’s not catching the ball directly off the offensive glass. He sports a very narrow frame that will probably never be able to add much weight, particularly in the lower body, and thus has all kinds of issues defensively and holding his position in the paint. His terrific wingspan allows him to be a presence at this level as a weak-side shotblocker, but it will take a lot more than that to make it in the NBA.

Only 20 years old, Fofana has another year and a half to continue to add weight to his frame and polish up his skill-set before becoming automatically eligible for the 2011 draft.

European Roundup: Dominant Donatas?

Luis Fernández
Luis Fernández
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Feb 06, 2009, 12:03 am
One of our contacts in France mentioned Fofana as a prospect worth taking a look at, so we took the liberty of tracking down some footage of the young French prospect. Despite having only a handful of undistinguished performances for Tony Parker’s ASVEL team in the French League and the Eurocup, the Paris native has played extensively in France’s junior league, the Espoirs. His team, Lyon-Villerbaune, has compiled a 10-6 record, thanks in large part to his play down low. While Espoirs is by no means a great level of competition, Fofana routinely displays enough upside to warrant another look down the road if he makes the jump to the LNB next season .

Listed anywhere from 6’10 to 7’1, Fofana looks and plays like a legitimate 7-footer. He possesses a huge wingspan, but like most players his age, his frame is still a major work in progress. While his size is his biggest asset at this point, Fofana shows better than average foot speed, but lacks the explosiveness that will only come from added lower-body strength. He elevates well to block shots and finish at the rim, but is by no means quick off the floor.

On the offensive end, Fofana shows some nice tools. He looks pretty comfortable scoring inside –showing a nice right hand, an effective up-and-under move, and pretty good touch, but he doesn’t have much polish on his left hand, overall back-to-the-basket game, or midrange jumper. In Espoirs play, Fofana is a dominant interior presence who makes an absolute killing on the offensive glass. In the same competition two years again he was essentially a non-factor, so it is obvious that he’s getting better.
The qualities that make Fofana worth taking a second look at are the glimpses of floor-game that he shows. Despite spending the vast majority of his time posting up on the block, he seems capable of putting the ball on the floor, even displaying a decent cross-over in the few opportunities we got to see him go one-on-one. His ability to pass out of the post, and swing the ball on the perimeter show that he has a decent basketball IQ as well.

Unfortunately, this awareness doesn’t manifest itself on the defensive end consistently. His size and length make him an effective shot blocker and rebounder, but he’ll often lose the ball when he drops into help-side, hurting his ability to contest as many shots as he is capable of. He’s also prone to lunging at shooters rather than closing them out, but appears to have solid lateral quickness when he stays disciplined.

At this point, Fofana is nothing more than a project considering how raw his skills are, the level of competition he plays at, and the fact that he’s not even one of the top-20 scorers in that league. He has the tools to develop into a legitimate prospect down the road, but he desperately needs to show that he can compete consistently at a higher level. With Tony Parker joining ASVEL’s ownership team, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the club attract a few higher-level free agents, which could relegate Fofana to Espoirs once again next season. However, if he makes the strides necessary to earn playing time in Head Coach Vincent Collet’s rotation, his exposure-level could certainly increase, as Villerbaune appears to be the most ambitious club in France at the moment. While Fofana’s NBA potential looks questionable at best right now, he’s certainly a player to keep an eye on thanks to his physical attributes.

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