October 5, 2016

Boum to the Hilltop

Kevin McCarthy

The saga of Souley Boum is a tale of steadfastness paying off as his application of tenacity and perseverance has resulted in the Team Lillard/Oakland Tech guard committing to traversing San Francisco Bay and playing next season at USF.

photo of Souley Boum

Boum will be a Don as the lead member of head coach Kyle Smith's first full recruiting class. The reigning Oakland Athletic League (OAL) Most Valuable Player is coming off a season of averaging 21.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 3.1 assists while shooting 53 percent overall as well as 49 percent on 132 three-point attempts.

As to his commitment, Boum explained, "The (USF) coaches really wanted me and had a plan for me. They were the first to offer. Coach Todd (Golden) was the first one to reach out to me." He will officially sign in November.

"I'll be bringing a winning mentality (Oakland Tech finished 28-4 overall, 10-0 in the OAL last season) and loyalty, giving 110% everyday on the court and in the classroom."

Besides making the travel distance easier for family, friends and former coaches wishing to see him play, Boum sees a role for himself as a beacon of sorts for the USF program. "I want to be a trailblazer for Oakland kids." The Dons roster currently contains no East Bay recruits.

Asked where he will be positioned, Boum offered, "I'm just a basketball player. Call me a combo guard but the plan is to develop me as a point."

Although obviously exhilarated at having his college plan finalized, "it was a relief. Over time it becomes overwhelming. I definitely slept better that night."

"I have so many people to thank -- my Mom who kept pushing me in school and basketball, Coach Ray, Coach Phil, Coach Damon and the Team Lillard organization, Coach Hart (Oakland Tech) and Rodney Cook who trains me."

In Coach Smith's previous coaching tenure at Columbia, two guards produced well-rounded numbers last season. 6-foot-3 Grant Mullins averaged 13.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting 44% from three-point range and is playing as a graduate transfer at California this season. Maodo Lo, also 6-foot-3, totaled 17.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists per game. That production has to be an attraction to guard prospects considering playing at USF. It did to Boum.