When Tacko Fall was 16, he left Senegal for the first time. The big man came to the United States on a special visa to attend high school and develop as a basketball player.
There was only one problem. Fall wasn't very familiar with the game of basketball. And as he described in an interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Jon Wertheim, that was part of his tough adjustment to life in the USA.
"I was a big kid. I was huge. I was 7-foot-2. But I didn't know what I was doing on the basketball court. I had no idea," Fall said, as transcribed by CBS News' Keith Zubrow. "I didn't even know if I belonged in there. Some [of] it was a tough time getting adjusted to that. Just playing every day, working out, practicing, having the regimen. And it was also tough mentally, not having my mom, not having my family around."
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Though Fall had his share of issues at first, including moving to several different states before ultimately landing at Liberty Christian Prep, nearby Orlando, Fla., he ultimately figured everything out. He went to play for the UCF Golden Knights where he was one of their team's best players and the NCAA's best shot blockers.
While Fall went undrafted after a four-year career at UCF, he caught on with the Boston Celtics during the Las Vegas Summer League. He became an instant fan-favorite and found a perfect role with the squad as a two-way player. And before the NBA shut down, he spent most of his time with the Maine Red Claws continuing to develop his game while averaging 12.9 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks and making better than 70 percent of his shots.
But Fall knows that there are some that aren't so lucky. And he's hoping that the NBA getting involved with the program will improve conditions for all involved.
"[There's] been many times where I feel like some people have been taken advantage of," Fall said. "They bring them here, then that's it. Then they're just left for their own. And if things don't work out, then they are pretty much screwed. It's getting better. I feel like now that they know what's going on, people are being more careful… especially now with the NBA being involved. And it's only gonna keep getting better."
Hopefully, it does continue to get better as Fall says. And maybe he can work with the NBA to help shape a program that helps all parties involved attain a desirable outcome.