Big Man Impressive at Auburn Hoops Camp

Willy Kouassi

A highly-regarded prospect for the 2011 basketball signee class visited Coach Tony Barbee's Tigers on Saturday.

Birmingham, Ala.--One of the top basketball prospects in the state of Alabama for the 2011 signee class visited Auburn on Saturday for Coach Tony Barbee's first Auburn basketball camp.

Willy Kouassi, a six-foot-nine and growing post player from Central Park Christian, was a standout performer at the event.

"I really liked the Auburn camp," Kouassi tells Inside the Auburn Tigers, adding that the competition against other talented players was good for him.

Prior to the one-day camp, he competed at the Bob Gibbons event and says, "That was pretty good, too."

Kouassi has a scholarship offer from Auburn and a variety of other colleges. "Everything with recruiting is going pretty good," he says. "A couple of schools are looking at me such as Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Xavier, Maryland, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, UAB, Alabama and a couple of more."

The rising senior says that it is too early to have a favorite. "I am trying to look at all of the schools that are recruiting me," he says.

Commenting on Auburn and its new coaching staff, he says the Tigers seem to be very interested in him. "I?really like Auburn," he says. "I really like Auburn a lot."

Kouassi notes that he is impressed with the facilities for Auburn basketball. He and the other campers got a tour of the almost finished Auburn Arena that is expected to open this summer. Although the main floor wasn't available for use at the camp on Saturday, the campers were able to use the new practice facility that is part of the complex.

Originally from the country of Ivory Coast, Kouassi has been going to school in the United States the past two academic years. "I have been here for one year, eight months,"?he says.

"I really like the United States," notes Kouassi, who is quite proficient in English although he speaks French back his home country." A good student, he is interested in studying business in college.

Commenting on what areas of his basketball game he is working on improving as he prepares for his senior year of high school, Kouassi says, "I have been working on my post moves."

Even though he runs the floor very well for a big man, he says, "I am trying to run a little bit faster. Rebounding, blocking shots and running the floor, that's my job."

Kouassi, who has long arms that make him a very effective shot blocker, notes that he is getting bigger and stronger. "I am a natural five (center)," he says.

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