ORLANDO, Fla. -- No matter where the Boston Celtics go these days, the love that fans have for Tacko Fall is hard to ignore.
Well if you were wondering where Tacko-Mania first began to sprout, here in Orlando was indeed a jumping-off point.
The 7-foot-7 center spent four years playing with the University of Central Florida. After going undrafted in last June’s NBA draft, Fall signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Boston Celtics where he’s among a handful of players in the Celtics’ training camp vying for the last remaining roster spot.
When the Celtics take on the Orlando Magic on Friday night, Fall will have a large contingent of friends from his college days as well as the usual larger-than-normal fanbase that follows Fall seemingly wherever the Celtics are.
Every opportunity he gets to suit up and play in a game, Fall sees it as a blessing.
But he admits it’ll be special to play in front of so many of his teammates who supported his basketball journey years ago.
“It means the world to me,” said Fall who added, “It’s going to feel weird at the same time, playing the game with them on the sidelines. But I’m looking forward to seeing them.”
Fall would discuss the tremendous support he received from the UCF campus as well as the Orlando community.
And the support has been strong since becoming a Celtic as well.
After having spent time with Fall since he signed with the Celtics, Boston head coach Brad Stevens understands why he is so beloved by so many.
“First of all, Tacko is a really likable guy,” Stevens said. “Obviously when he walks into a room, everyone is in awe of his size. But what I’ve said and I hope people know first and foremost, is he’s a great guy. He’s an extremely hard worker, he’s humble, he’s gracious … he’ll take a picture with anyone who wants to take a picture with him and a lot of people want to take pictures with him. I hope people appreciate him for who he is, and how hard he’s working to be in the NBA.”
So it’s only fitting that Tacko Fall’s first road game in the NBA, brings him to Orlando, the place where his NBA journey first began to take shape.
“It’s going to feel like a dream, just considering all I worked for to get here,” Fall said. “Everything I’ve been through and just have the opportunity … it’s gonna feel like a dream.”
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