The Arizona Wildcats have added more international flair to their roster, landing a commitment from French guard Adama Bal on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
The 6-foot-6, 180-pound swingman attends French sports institute (INSEP) in Paris, the same program that Gonzaga guard Joel Ayayi, Tommy Lloyd’s former player, came out of. Givony says Bal is considered “one of the most promising European prospects committing to the college route.”
“Coach Tommy Lloyd and his staff were the key,” Bal told ESPN. “He recruited me at Gonzaga and offered me the first day on the job at Arizona. He showed me how much he wanted me every step of the way. He has a tremendous track record of developing international prospects into NBA players. I was able to talk to Joel Ayayi and Ronny Turiaf, among others, who told me all the best about him.”
Bal becomes the 10th scholarship player on Arizona’s roster for the 2021-22 season. Eight different countries are represented, an early demonstration of Lloyd’s ability to connect with international talent.
While Bal is Arizona’s only player from France, Christian Koloko, Bennedict Mathurin, and Oumar Ballo also speak French, which Bal told ESPN was another factor in his decision to become a Wildcat.
As for what Bal brings on the court, he told 247Sports last year that he is a “playmaker with a high level handle, capable of creating my own shot outside or inside the paint and make the right passes if the help comes. I’m also an efficient spot up shooter.”
Givony adds that Bal “has excellent size for a guard with a 6’11 wingspan, and strong versatility as a passer, shot-maker and defender that should allow him to play a variety of roles in different lineup configurations as he gains strength and experience.”
Bal also held offers from the likes of Cincinnati, Colorado, Georgia and Marquette. Here’s an updated look at Arizona’s scholarship count now that he’s in the fold:
- Kerr Kriisa (Estonia)
- Bennedict Mathurin (Canada)
- Azuolas Tubelis (Lithuania)
- Dalen Terry (USA)
- Christian Koloko (Cameroon)
- Tautvilas Tubelis (Lithuania)
- Oumar Ballo (Mali)
- Shane Nowell (USA)
- Pelle Larsson (Sweden)
- Adama Bal (France)