young lions

Photography by: Alessandro Simonetti

There is something special going on at the Sports for Education and Economic Development (SEED) Academy in the small Senegalese town of Thies—and it’s not only the quality of their basketball. Since being founded in 2002, SEED’s student-athletes have established themselves around the world, some as talented players, NCAA champions and budding NBA players, others as community leaders. The environment where each of their journeys begins is the focus of Alessandro Simonetti’s photographs.

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[L]: Ibrahima Sankhare, a junior at SEED Academy, playing on an outdoor court in a high school in Thies.

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[L-R]: Thierno Niang (SEED class of 2010), senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and point guard for the Indomitable Lions, Senegal's national team; Amadou Gallo Fall, SEED found and VP of development for the NBA in Africa; Youssoupha N'Doye (SEED class of 2010), junior at St. Bonaventure University.

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[L]: Momar and Seynabou Dieng, outside of their home in Kebemer; they are parents of SEED Academy graduate Gorgui Dieng, who in 2013 let the Louisville Cardinals to the NCAA basketball championship and was drafted first round by the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves.

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14-year old Khadidiatou Sall at a Jr. SEED's tutoring session.

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[L-R]: Abdou Gueye, a senior at SEED Academy. 15-year old Fallou Gallas Thiombane at the SEED Hoop Forum.

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