May 19, 2008
LARAMIE, Wyo - University of Wyoming head basketball coach Heath Schroyer announced on Monday the signing of Boubacar Sylla to a scholarship offer. Sylla played this past season at Auburn University. Sylla comes to Wyoming with three years of eligibility remaining. He will be able to practice with the Cowboys beginning this coming season, but he will have to sit out of competition in the 2008-09 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.
Boubacar Sylla (Pronounced: BOO-buh-car, SILL-uh) is a 7'2", 275-pound center with a 7'5" wingspan. A highly sought after player coming out of Stoneridge Prep in Simi Valley, Calif., he was also recruited by LSU and USC.
"I'm extremely excited to add a player the caliber of Boubacar (Sylla) to our program," said Schroyer. "He not only brings great size but outstanding skills to our team. He played at one of the premier prep school programs in the country at Stoneridge Prep in California, and he obviously was a young man who a lot of people wanted as he was recruited by two SEC schools (Auburn and LSU) and one PAC-10 team (USC).
"Not only will Bouba give us another outstanding big man in our program for three seasons, but I believe he will help us immediately in the development of our other young center, Mikhail Linskens. Having two seven footers go at it in practice every day should make both Bouba and Mikhail better players.
"Coach (Fred) Langley of our staff did a great job of establishing a relationship with Bouba when we were recruiting him at Fresno State prior to our coming to Wyoming. When Bouba was looking for a place to transfer, there is no question that the relationship Fred built a few years ago paid off in us getting a talented young player and a fine young man."
Sylla saw limited action at Auburn in his freshman season due to a stress fracture in a foot. He played in only three games during the 2007-08 season. He played on a Stoneridge Prep team that was ranked No. 14 in the nation in 2006-07 among all prep schools. That team had seven individuals earn NCAA Division I scholarships.
A native of Paris, France, Sylla completed his high school education in Paris before attending Stoneridge Prep. Born July 18, 1986, he is the eldest child of Mamadou and Oumou Sylla. He has five brothers and three sisters. In addition to basketball, he also played soccer as a youth. He speaks three languages -- English, French and Bambara, which his native African language.
Sylla is one of two spring signees for the Cowboys. He joins high school senior A.J. Davis of Columbus, Ohio, in Wyoming's 2007-08 spring recruiting class.
It has also been determined that Wyoming junior Bienvenu Songondo is medically unable to compete in the future. Songondo will remain on scholarship for the Cowboys his senior year of 2008-09, but the NCAA does not count medically disqualified student-athletes against a school's scholarship limit. Wyoming therefore has one remaining scholarship available for this coming season.