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Norwalk Hoop Team Values Versatility Of Saeed Soulemane

Norwalk's Saeed Soulemane glides down the lane for a basket against Ridgefield. Photo Credit: Contributed by Chris Palermo
Saeed Soulemane's versatility has been one the reasons for the success this winter of the Norwalk boys basketball team. Photo Credit: Tom Renner

NORWALK, Conn. – The Ridgefield’s boys basketball team found out Friday what other teams already knew about Norwalk’s Saeed Soulemane. The senior forward can hurt opponents in many ways.

Soulemane had nine points and grabbed 10 rebounds in Friday’s 61-47 victory over the Tigers. But it was his 10 assists that caught the eye of fans. Soulemane has the unique ability to deliver pinpoint no-look passes to teammates for easy baskets.

“He has great vision of the court,’’ Norwalk coach Tom Keyes said. “For a player his size, and the vision that he has, he’s starting to garner some attention from some colleges for the way that he plays. He’s the most unselfish player out there.”

Soulemane moved to Norwalk from the Bronx, N.Y., in ninth grade.

“I don’t think that much of it,’’ Soulemane said of his passing skills. “It’s something that I’m used to doing. It’s just something that comes naturally.”

His versatility has helped Norwalk win seven of its first nine games entering Tuesday’s contest at Bassick in Bridgeport. Soulemane can also hit the outside shot – he hit a three-pointer in Friday’s win – and is effective close to the basket.  At 6-feet, 4-inches, his size also creates match-up problems for opponents.

“I think he’s putting together a very good year,’’ Keyes said of Soulemane. “He’s doing the things we’re working on in practice. He has a great knowledge of the game. I don’t have to coach him that much. He already knows how play. As long as he keeps his effort up, he’ll keep having big games.”

Soulemane might play an even more prominent role in the final half of the season. As teams start to key on leading scorers Roy Kane Jr. and Jabari Dear, others will need to emerge as consistent scoring threats. Soulemane says he’s ready.

“That’s good for me,’’ he said. “Most teams are not going to know I can score. That’s going to make it easier. I feel like I’m an X factor. If I play well, I think our team can do some really good things.”

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