Christ Koumadje has taken the NBA G League by storm this past season. The 23-year-old rookie led the league in blocks per game, with 4. He also led the league in total number of blocks by quite a distance, with 133. Kenny Wotten who sits second on the list, recorded 96 blocks.
Alongside the blocks, Koumadje averaged 11.3 points and 10.9 rebounds, through 33 G League contests. On 63.5% shooting.
His efforts were rewarded with the 2019-20 NBA G League Defensive Player of the Year award. In which he was voted for by the league’s 28 head coaches and general managers.
Koumadje represented Montverde Academy at the high-school level, where Ben Simmons was his teammate. Following Montverde, Koumadje spent 4-years at Florida State University. Where he averaged 6.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game, in his senior season (15.5 MPG).
After going undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft, the 7-foot-3 center was quickly picked up by the Philadelphia 76ers. His G League journey began after being cut by the 76ers during training camp, and ultimately signing with their G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats.
As the Blue Coats raced out to a red hot start to the season, so did Koumadje. The rookie averaged 10.2 points (61% FG), 10.1 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks, through November and December.
In the 10 games running through December, the 23-year-old shot an impressive 90.9% from the free-throw line. All of a sudden, his college days were behind him, and quickly Koumadje was flourishing in the G League. A reputation was building too.
Between December 14-19, he recorded 5 blocks against the Raptors 905, 5 blocks against the Greensboro Swarm, and 7 blocks against the Stockton Kings. In back-to-back-to-back games.
January 4 saw Koumadje set a career-high 8 blocks in a 111-88 win over the Long Island Nets. In that game, he set another career-high in 16 rebounds. Whilst also contributing 12 points.
However, it was the following month when he really caught the wider attention. On February 1, Koumadje recorded a triple-double in a win against the Erie BayHawks. In the game, he scored 18 points, 20 rebounds, and an incredible 12 blocks. The latter set a Blue Coats franchise record and was a G League season-high.
He maintained solid form throughout the month, setting averages of 11.5 points, 13.4 rebounds, and 5.8 blocks. On 67.9% shooting. Two games before the suspension hit, Koumadje recorded a career-high 22 points in a win over the Capital City Go-Go.
At 7-foot-3, with a huge wingspan, Christ Koumadje is a force to be reckoned with in the paint. On both sides of the ball. Offensively, all of his shots come within 10 feet of the basket. He converted at a 63.5% rate from the field throughout the 2019/20 season. Although, from shots from less than 5-feet, this jumped up to 73.1%.
As expected, he works well in the pick-and-roll, driving to the rim strong. Once he’s got the edge on his man, there’s no real stopping him. Off-the-ball, he’s got good vision in finding open situations as his defender drifts. With this, he picks up regular offensive rebounds. 3.8 over the course of last season. Which was 7th-best in the entire G League. He converts with mainly putbacks and layups. With the occasional hook shot.
Defensively, he sweeps up around the rim with ease. His sheer size is enough to put defenders off, swatting blocks at a top level. His 4 blocks per game through the 2019-20 season was 0.4 more than Kenny Wotten in 2nd place, and 1.1 more than 3rd placed Tacko Fall. Koumadje picks up plenty of defensive rebounds (7.1 RPG), allowing his team to shoot out on the fast-break. When he is ahead of the ball, the alley-opp opportunity is there every-time.
On the defensive end, he has a tendency to plant his feet too early. Presenting opponents the opportunity to blow past him. But he does have quick feet for a player his size when he’s locked in.
If he could improve his free-throw shooting (67.9%) and develop some form of range to his game, he could be an intriguing NBA prospect moving forward.
Christ Koumadje didn’t pick up a basketball until high-school and has been a late bloomer throughout his career so far. With a bit more development he could be a legitimate option in the Philadelphia 76ers’ rotation moving forward. Or another NBA team, if the 76ers pass on his talents.
The next step for Koumadje will most likely be a two-way contract.
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