Basketball: A first look at Bak Bak

I got the chance to watch Cal signee and Sudanese native Bak Bak play tonight. His Village Christian HS team from Sun Valley north of L.A. beat Calvary Chapel-Downey 46-32.

Bak scored just six points, partly because he had a poor shooting night (2-for-9), but partly because his team ran almost nothing designed to get the ball to a 6-foot-10 post player. He had 11 rebounds, blocked five shots, had two assists and two steals.

His coach told me he’s averaging about 19 points, 11 rebounds and 3 1/2 blocked shots.

Bak runs the floor very well, seems to have good hands as a rebounder and looks like a great teammate. Very upbeat, never seemed frustrated when his teammates fired away from beyond the 3-point line without giving him a look.

He made one 3-pointer of his own, plus a nice drive to the basket where he faked his defender and made a quick and decisive move.

But he’s got a long ways to go to become a factor on the Pac-10 level. I talked to him Friday afternoon and he confirmed he never lifted a weight until the past year. He weighs about 210 with very thin arms. He said he expects to grow about one more inch.

A very pleasant kid, who speaks seven languages and has overcome a lot to get to this point. I’ll write more about him next week in my regular college basketball column.

Summary: He’ll help, but don’t expect him to reinvent the wheel.

Jeff Faraudo