BADALONA, Spain – Former Quinnipiac University men's basketball standout Ousmane Drame (Boston, Massachusetts) has inked his first professional contract over in Spain, as the 6-9 forward has signed a contract with FIATC Joventut, as announced on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 by the franchise. The deal is a two-year contract.
"I join everyone in the Quinnipiac Basketball program in congratulating Ousmane Drame on signing his first professional basketball contract," said Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore. "He had an outstanding career here and broke ground for future Quinnipiac players by attending the Portsmouth Invitational, working out for numerous NBA teams, and participating in the Washington Wizards summer league camp. We are all excited to follow him as he begins his career in the first division in Spain, one of the best pro leagues in the world."
Drame's first professional opportunity comes with high prestige as FIATC Joventut plays in the Liga ACB (Endesa League), known as the first tier level of men's professional basketball in Spain. Widely regarded throughout the industry as the second-most competitive basketball league in the world behind the National Basketball Association (NBA), Drame joins a top-flight franchise with an esteemed list of current and former NBA players including Ricky Rubio, Rudy Fernandez, Coby Karl and Raul Lopez.
With an 18-18 record in 2014-15, FIATC Joventut has proven to be a consistent year-in, year-out success. The team most recently advanced to the semifinal round of the Spanish Cup (Coppa del Rey) in 2015 and the last Spanish Cup title came in 2008 when Rubio was running the point for the franchise. In 1994, FIATC Joventut reached its peak taking the FIBA European Champions' Cup title, which is now called the Euroleague. While the club is looking to get back to the pinnacle of European basketball, Drame is joining a team that is one of three (FIATC Joventut, Read Madrid and Estudiante) to have never been relegated from the top division of the Spanish League.
The highly-skilled Drame cemented himself among the greats to ever play at Quinnipiac University, leaving as the program leader in blocked shots and the Division I leader in rebounds. Drame finished with 1,361 career points, 1,108 rebounds and 217 blocks through his four-year stint in Hamden. He compiled 44 career double-doubles, which tied him with Ike Azotam '13 for the QU record.
Drame developed into one of the premier big men across the nation in 2014-15. He averaged a double-double with 14.9 points and 11.2 rebounds – ranking 6th nationally in rebounds per game. Statistics continued to mount for the 6-foot-9 forward as he became the fifth player at Quinnipiac to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Drame wrapped up his career with the best individual effort of his career, tossing in 27 points (11-18 FG, 5-6 FT) and grabbing 23 rebounds in the final game.
The 2015 MAAC Defensive Player of the Year led the league in offensive, defensive and total rebounds, blocked shots, double-doubles and ranked among the leaders in free-throw percentage. Drame shattered Quinnipiac's record for most blocks in a single-season (88), finishing 21 better than the previous record of 67. A testament to his basketball IQ, Drame avoided foul trouble and managed to log 29.1 minutes per game. He fouled out just three times on the season.
Individual accolades poured in as he was selected to the All-MAAC Second Team twice in his career (2014-15; 2013-14), College Sports Madness All-MAAC First Team (2014-15) and Second Team (2013-14) and the 2014-15 NABC All-District I Team. Following last season, Drame became the first Bobcat to receive an invite to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament and also participated in the NBA's Washington Wizards' Summer League mini-camp.
FIATC Joventut is much in need of Drame's size as he immediately steps in as the second-tallest player on the roster at 6-foot-9 while also standing as the second-youngest roster player as well. Rebounding and shot blocking are desperately needed for FIATC Joventut as the leading returner in both categories Goran Suton averaged a mere 6.3 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per game a year ago.
FIATC Joventut is located in Badalona, Spain and plays in the Palau Olimpic de Badalona which seats 12,760. With a population of 220,997 (as of 2012), Badalona is a burgeoning coastal city situated on the Mediterranean Sea.
Quinnipiac basketball is just around the corner with the Bobcats geared up for their third season in the MAAC. Fans interested in purchasing tickets for the 2015-16 campaign can call the QU Ticket Office at 203-582-3905, visit the official website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com or make a trip to the TD Bank Sports Center Ticket Office.