PROVO, Utah – BYU men’s basketball head coach Mark Pope announced Thursday that Fousseyni Traoré has signed a scholarship agreement to play for the Cougars.
“Fousseyni Traoré is one the kindest, most big hearted and faithful people you will ever meet,” Pope said. “He is a big bodied, barrel chested, incredibly explosive power forward, who proved this summer that he is also effective off the bounce and from behind the three-point line. We are so blessed as a team and a staff to welcome this great young man to our program. He is going to be an extraordinary representative of his family, his home country of Mali, the university and Cougar Nation.”
Originally from Bamako, the capital of Mali, West Africa, Traoré came to the United States in 2018 to attend Wasatch Academy in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. The 6-foot-7 power forward started a combined 59 games as a sophomore (2018-19) and junior (2019-20) for the Tigers. In two seasons, he has averaged 6.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1 steal per game.
“I can’t wait to play for Coach Pope,” Traoré said. “Every time I speak with him he has so much energy and passion and makes me feel amazing as a player and a person. He really believes in me and I’m looking forward to playing for him at BYU.”
Traoré helped the Tigers achieve a combined 53-6 record over two seasons and back-to-back invitations to the GEICO High School Basketball National Tournament. During the 2019-20 season, Wasatch Academy wrapped up the regular season with a 27-2 record and a No. 2 national ranking in the Ball is Life FAB 50. The Tigers’ potential run at a GEICO national title ended when the tournament organizers canceled the event due to the pandemic.
In addition to the Tigers, Traoré also played AAU basketball as a member of the Utah Mountain Stars (Jimmer Elite). He was recruited by Seton Hall and Utah State. He will join the Cougars for the 2021-22 season.
Traoré speaks three languages—Bambara, French and English. He has one sister and two brothers. His parents are Lamine and Kadiatou Traoré.