(utsports.com) For the second time under head coach Rick Barnes, the Tennessee basketball program has landed a talented young wing from France, as Quentin Diboundje (pronounced: DIH-boon-zhay) signed with the Volunteers Wednesday.
A native of Montpellier, France, and one of the country’s top basketball prospects, the 6-6 Diboundje plans to enroll at UT this summer and will be a freshman for the Vols next season.
He follows in the footsteps of fellow Frenchman Yves Pons (2017-21), who just completed a decorated four-year career on Rocky Top.
“Quentin is really motivated to get here and get to work,” Barnes said. “He’s already fallen in love with the University of Tennessee. He’s very mature in his approach because he’s always played up against older competition. Quentin is a big guard who has great speed and is extremely athletic. He’s got explosive lateral quickness, he can run and finish in transition, and he can shoot it.”
In July, Diboundje will compete with the French national team at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup in Latvia.
The 2020-21 academic year was Diboundje’s first in the United States, as he attended the Monteverde Academy Center for Basketball Development and competed on its “prep national” roster, coached by Ben Wisniewski and Kevin Boyle. Diboundje helped lead the Eagles to a 23-7 record.
In January of 2020, Diboundje was among 16 players selected to participate in the French Basketball Federation’s U18 team camp at INSEP Academy.
He played his French club ball with the Elan Chalon U21 team and increased his production from 4.8 points and 0.7 rebounds per game in 2018-19 to 12.7 points and 4.9 rebounds in 2019-20.
With his time in the United States coinciding with the pandemic-induced NCAA dead period, Diboundje’s recruitment went largely under the radar. He is rated as a three-star prospect according to Rivals.com.
The seventh international player to join the program during the Barnes era, Diboundje joins a Tennessee basketball 2021 signing class that includes point guard Kennedy Chandler and wing Jahmai Mashack.