After not playing that much as a junior, Wings Academy senior forward Amdy Fall dedicated himself to his game last summer.
He'd wake up early each morning and go work out with an AAU coach, spending about four hours working on his dribbling and shooting and whatever else he felt he needed to improve on.
He wanted to show his coaches at Wings Academy that he could play, but at the same time, had a deeper motivation.
"I needed to prove it to myself," Fall said.
This past year, Fall reaped the benefits with the Wings, averaging 12.6 points and 10.7 rebounds while helping Wings Academy to the Public Schools Athletic League Class "AA" semifinals. Tuesday, Fall was rewarded with another benefit: a Division I scholarship.
Fall verbally committed to Radford of the Big South on Tuesday and will leave for the Virginia-based school on Aug. 21. The forward chose the Highlanders over St. Peter's and Monmouth. He is a one-star recruit, according to ESPNU.
"Working those extra hours was really helpful," Fall said. "Last year, nobody was thinking about me being a Division I player. This year, after leading my team to victories, that's when everybody started calling and started watching me play."
Fall, who moved to Harlem from Senegal in 2008, started playing for Wings as a sophomore and averaged five points and 8.3 rebounds per game, but his rebounds took a hit as a junior when he averaged 5.8 points but just 5.9 rebounds.
This past season, he became one of the top players in the PSAL and helped Wings to an undefeated record in the regular season. His coach Billy Turnage called Fall a great player who has a bright future ahead of him.
"It was all that extra improvement," Turnage said. "He was a defensive presence who brought a lot of intensity and that led to a lot of victories for us."
The recruiting process did not go as smooth for Fall as expected, though. Since he spent his freshman year in Senegal, he had to get his transcript cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Fall said he never worried because he had good grades and figured it was only a matter of time before he was academically cleared. Turnage said Fall is a 90 student.
Once he received his clearance, Fall said that new Radford coach Mike Jones kept contacting him and showing interest. Jones came to Radford from VCU and Fall said he had a feeling he could go to Radford and be successful under Jones' tutelage.
Fall took his official visit two weeks ago and liked that Jones showed him around the campus and he think he's going to fit in well with the Highlanders.
"I'm defensive oriented but I'm versatile," Fall said. "I can do a lot of things. I'm faster than most forwards and can take them off the dribble. I can stand up and known down a jumper as well."