Posted On: 12/21/17 6:00 AM

Lamine Komara (2018) combines athleticism and 6’5” length with supreme defensive confidence. The result: he never backs down from a challenge, regardless of who is standing in front of him.

“I can defend one through five, it doesn’t matter to me. I just feel comfortable defending the best player on the other team,” Komara said.

His defensive flexibility makes him a player suited for positionless basketball. But, offensively, he’d like to improve as a shooter.

“I want to improve my shooting ability, so I can get more space. Because most teams are slacking off me. So, just so they can be more honest, I want to knock down more threes,” Komara said.

His Elite Basketball Club trainer Alex Lemon has played a huge role in his development up to this point. Komara will continue relying on their relationship for growth.

“Before [this summer] I could go coast-to-coast, but I couldn’t create space for my own shot. … He really cares. He’s like a player’s coach. I can get into the gym with him any time I want to,” Komara said.

For Lemon and EBC this summer, Komara played a lesser role than what he’s faced with now for Whetstone.

“At Whetstone, I have a bigger role. My role is to lead the team and try to pick up the players. At Whetstone, I play the whole game most games. I just have to do more,” Komara said. He mentioned that he was more of a rebounding specialist who pushed the pace for EBC in the summer.

Komara, averaging 15.3 points, sees it as his responsibility for Whetstone to turn it around after an 0-7 start.

“I have to step up more as a player. Also, we need to play more as a team and be ready to compete night in and night out,” Komara said. Their next game comes on Friday against Mifflin at home.

The positive news this week has been on the recruiting side, where the senior prospect was offered a spot on Vermilion Community College’s roster.

“It’s a junior college in Minnesota. They offered me a spot on the team. My older cousin went there,” he said. Komara told us that he texts with the coaching staff “from time to time.”

Otherwise, Komara’s recruitment comes from the Division II and NAIA level.

“I went on an official visit to West Virginia Tech a couple months ago. Alderson Broaddus expressed some interest in me; I text their assistant coach from time to time. I heard from Lake Erie over the summer. I went to Findlay [for an elite camp] over the summer,” Komara said.

He’s maintained a relationship with WV Tech since the visit. That’s a good sign for the NAIA program out of West Virginia, as coaching staffs are important to him.

“The most important thing is getting a free education, so the school that is offering the most money. Also, it’s most important to me coaching staff. The coach that shows the most love is the coach I want to go to, because that shows family,” Komara said.

He currently carries between a 2.5 and 2.8 GPA and scored a 21 on the ACT.

photo: Bossman Films Production