There’s much more to Tacko Fall than initially meets the eye.
The 7-foot-5 Boston Celtics rookie is from Senegal, a country located in western Africa. Fall gained attention while playing for the University of Central Florida’s men’s basketball team, though it was quite the road to get there.
At age 16, Fall made his way to Texas with virtually no basketball experience. And suddenly, Fall was left to navigate a new world on his own.
“I was like, wow. Like, this is gonna be a long road ahead just without my mom … (and no longer) having my little brother by my side, just taking care of him,” Fall told CBS’ Jon Wertheim on Sunday’s episode of “60 Minutes.” “And now I didn’t know when I was gonna be able to see them again. So that was really tough.
“… I mean the biggest thing they told, and that was why my mom actually agreed to send me here, was he’d be able to pursue his education. And that was after they said that. And then it was a no brainer for her. But in the back of their mind they saw a lot of potential in me, I think.”
Fall said the situation was “tough mentally” for him. Not only was it difficult for him to be separated from his family, but there also was a lot of pressure to succeed. Fall also ran into some problems with his visa after his recruiters changed his high school, creating an even bigger headache.
So, what advice does he have for his younger self?
“There were some days where it would not feel like I was really strong minded, where I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. Like, I was just lost in space,” Fall said, “… Where now I would just, you know, tell myself where, keep being strong mentally. I mean, just focus on the things you can control, ’cause that’s all you can do sometimes. And just keep working hard. And everything that you’re doing is fine. I feel like I’ve done everything the right way. There wasn’t anything that I’ve done that I’ve regretted.”
Certainly puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?