It’s not just because of his towering stature which goes up to 2.31m and allows him to dunk while standing on his tiptoes.
But basketball experts consider him to be the NBA’s brightest new star in 2019 due to his unique style of playing as well, Religion News reported.
Elhadji Tacko Sereigne Diop Fall, the 23-year-old Senegalese Muslim, who was born in Dakar, went from an undrafted rookie to the most beloved basketballer in America’s premier NBA league.
Initially, Fall played soccer, the most favorite sport in Senegal, before turning 16 years old. He had no interest in basketball which Senegal excels at too.
However, when he traveled to the US in 2011, he started to play his first organized basketball in Houston, Texas and even trained with NBA Hall of Famer, Hakeem Olajuwon, who is also a Muslim from Nigeria.
Last month, on June 21, Fall signed for Boston Celtics where he played during the 2019 NBA Summer League season.
The Muslim player concentrates on his promising career and computer science major at the University of Central Florida.
Even though, because of the US President Donald Trump administration’s anti-Muslim bigotry, Fall has been speaking out publicly against the govt’s xenophobic policies since he was a teenager.
A 2018 study found that nearly 20% of Americans would deny Muslim Americans the right to vote.
In spite of this fact, sport is a powerful force that brings people together when little else could.
Similarly, the love shown to Fall — in a political moment of immense anti-immigrant, anti-black and anti-Muslim bigotry — shows what a politically useful function sport can serve.
In fact, this xenophobia and the counter movements against it aren’t new phenomena by any means to the diverse communities of the USA.
Muhammad Ali captured the imagination of Americans. People around the country embraced Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Hakeem Olajuwon. All three — black and Muslim — despite experiencing discrimination, stood tall as cultural icons.
Such successful Muslim stars in American sports help to undercut the pernicious myth that Islam and the West are incompatible.
That’s why the media frenzy around Fall is useful. He’s more than just an exceptionally tall dude dunking over other exceptionally tall dudes. The very fact of who he is will do important work for humanizing some of those among us who are dehumanized far too often.