Five Facts: Fall, Green, Kanter, Poirier, Walker
The Boston Celtics have a number of new faces on their roster this season, including a handful of players who they plucked off the free agent market this summer.
We've dug up five fun facts on five of those first-year Celts, and they're below for you to digest. So go ahead and brush up on your team trivia now as these players prepare to make their respective marks on the franchise.
The 7-foot-6 undrafted rookie signed with the Celtics out of the University of Central Florida.
- His full name is Elhadji Tacko Sereigne Diop Fall.
- Born in Senegal, Fall was not introduced to the game of basketball until he moved to the United States at age 16. Shortly after arriving to the U.S., Fall met NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon, who taught him various basketball footwork techniques.
- Fall did not speak English when he first arrived in the United States, though it only took him eight months to become fluent in the language. He was an outstanding student at Liberty Christian Preparatory School in Tavares, Florida, where he maintained a 4.0 GPA and scored in the 95th percentile nationally on the SAT.
- Fall shot an NCAA-record 73.96 percent from the field during his four years at the University of Central Florida. No other player in NCAA history has come within six percentage points of that career mark.
- He set several anthropometric records at the 2019 NBA Draft Combine, such as height with shoes (7-foot-7), wingspan (8-foot-2 ¼) and standing reach (10-foot-2 ½). With a reach that high, Fall can easily touch the 10-foot rim while standing flat-footed.
The 26-year-old Radford University product comes to the Celtics with four professional seasons under his belt, having played in three different leagues overseas.
- Green was a four-sport varsity athlete at Brunswick High School in Lawrenceville, Virginia, where he lettered in baseball, basketball, football and track and field. He was the starting quarterback for the Brunswick football team during his junior and senior years.
- Radford University was the only Division I basketball program to offer Green a scholarship out of high school. He graduated from the university in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and is the school’s first alumnus to make it to the NBA.
- Green wrapped up his collegiate career as Radford's all-time leader in rebounds (1,064), steals (245), and games played (133). He is also second all-time on the program’s scoring list with 1,911 points.
- After graduating from Radford, Green signed with CB Marin Peixegalego of Spain’s LEB Plata. During his first professional season, he averaged 18.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game, which led to his earning of league MVP honors.
- Green is a dual citizen of Montenegro and the United States. He played for the Montenegro national basketball team in 2017 during the 2019 European FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers.
The 6-foot-11 center joins the Celtics with eight years of NBA experience under his belt. He previously played for Utah, Oklahoma City, New York and Portland.
- Kanter was born in Zurich, Switzerland, though spent most of his youth in Turkey. He is one of four Swiss-born players in NBA history along with Clint Capela, Thabo Sefalosha and Nikola Vucevic.
- At the 2010 Nike Hoops Summit, Kanter recorded 34 points and 13 rebounds for the international team. His scoring tally broke Dirk Nowitzki’s showcase record of 33 points set in 1998.
- His 24-year-old brother Kerem is also a professional basketball player. Kerem was the leading scorer in the Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) last season and now plays for Joventut Badalona of the Spanish Liga ACB. The 6-foot-10 big man played three collegiate seasons at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay and one at Xavier University.
- On Dec. 25, 2017, Kanter became the fourth player in NBA history to log a 30-point, 20-rebound game on Christmas, joining Hall-of-Famers Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Lanier and Bill Russell on the elite list. The 31-point, 22-rebound game against the Philadelphia 76ers was the second 30-20 game of his career.
- Kanter spent most of this summer giving back to the community, as he put on more than 45 free youth basketball clinics around the United States.
The 7-foot French center is making the leap to the NBA after spending the last seven years playing professionally in Europe.
- Poirier didn’t start playing basketball until age 16, when he joined the Bussy Basket Club in Bussy-Saint-Georges, France. From that point, it took him just two years to turn pro.
- The 25-year-old spent his last two professional seasons playing for Baskonia of Liga ACB in Spain. During Euroleague play last season, Poirier averaged 11.9 points and a league-leading 8.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 62.1 percent from the field.
- Poirier played in back-to-back NBA Summer League sessions, as he suited up for the 2016 Orlando Magic summer squad, before earning a spot on the 2017 Brooklyn Nets summer roster.
- The 7-foot center was a contributor for the bronze medal-winning France team during the 2019 FIBA World Cup, as he averaged 5.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 56.0 percent from the field.
- Poirier is one of five players in Celtics history that was born in France. The others are Jerome Moiso, Michael Stewart, Dominique Wilkins and Guerschon Yabusele.
The three-time All-Star point guard joins the Celtics after spending his first eight NBA seasons with the Charlotte Hornets.
- While growing up in The Bronx, New York, Walker took modern, jazz and hip-hop dance classes. His prowess on the dance floor even earned him the opportunity to perform at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre.
- During his final collegiate season, Walker led the nation in scoring (23.5 PPG) and guided UConn to a national championship. He earned the Bob Cousy Award for the top collegiate point guard and was also named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
- Walker’s NBA career averages of 19.8 points and 5.5 assists per game are the highest respective marks among all 37 UConn alumni who have made it to the league.
- Highly regarded by his teammates and peers, Walker earned back-to-back NBA Sportsmanship Awards in 2017 and 2018.
- Walker is the Charlotte Hornets’ all-time leader in points (12,009), field goals (4,164), 3-point field goals (1,283), free throws (2,398) and minutes (20,607),