sl 72 adidas Casper College forward makes most of second chance
“Guys that are Remi’s size that can do the things he does on the court don’t grow on trees,” Casper College coach Joel Davidson said. “He’s definitely a unique talent.
“Remi is as competitive as anybody I’ve ever been around. He’s his own harshest critic and sometimes that’s read wrong, but that’s just because he wants to win.”
He had 28 points and a career high 15 rebounds in a 97 88 triple overtime victory at Laramie County Community College on Nov. 6. In a 95 74 rout of Western Nebraska Community College on Nov. 27, Dibo had six 3 pointers in the first half and finished with a career high 31 points in just 25 minutes.
“Remi is a real confident player, and he’s a different player,” Casper College freshman Richard Smith said. “He’s versatile and he’s hard to guard . he brings a lot to the table and he makes us a better team.”
The 2008 adidas Nations Camp brought together about 100 of the top 18 and under players from around the world. Dibo, who was born in the Ivory Coast, played on Team Africa. It was at the camp where Dibo first questioned his abilities.
“I ain’t gonna lie,” he said, “after the adidas Nations Camp, I really had questions about my game.
“When I played in France, I played [power forward], and I was faster than everybody else. And then at the camp, I was playing [small forward], and guys were as athletic as I was or even more athletic.”
Rather than be discouraged, Dibo re dedicated himself to the game. He was on the court two hours every morning before class and again as soon as the school day was finished.
“I worked harder than I ever had before,” he said. “The camp made me a better basketball player.”
Dibo played his junior season at Stoneridge Prep (Simi Valley, Calif.) and his senior year at West Virginia’s Mountain State Academy. There, Dibo gained some national recognition when he helped Mountain State beat top ranked Oak Hill Academy in the semifinals of the ESPN Rise National High School Basketball Invitational.
Dibo’s game improved to the point that top level Division I programs began recruiting him.
In 2009 Dibo was set to sign with the University of Kentucky a team that would reach the East Regional final of the 2010 NCAA tournament before he was dealt a setback.
Terrence Jones, who had originally committed to play at the University of Washington, instead signed with Kentucky, taking what was essentially Dibo’s scholarship.
however, refused to blame Jones or UK for missing an opportunity to play for a national power.
“When I made my decision to [play at] Kentucky, I was too late; it was past the signing period,” Dibo said. “I learned from that that you’ve got to be the best you can be at any moment and nobody will take your spot.
“I also found out that school is really important. At the end of my senior year, my grades were bad and that’s when some schools started stepping down.”
While other programs continued to recruit Dibo, one of his former coaches in France thought Dibo would be best served at Casper College. The coach had sent former players to Davidson when he was the head coach at Sheridan College, and thought Dibo would benefit from Davidson’s defense first, no nonsense coaching style.
Davidson, now at Casper College, was happy to oblige.
“I didn’t even recruit Remi,” Davidson said. “It was just on prior experience that he ended up here. It kind of falls under the category that if you treat people right, good things will happen.”
“Because of that he’s got a lot of interest from a wide range of schools. Remi wants to play at the highest level because he wants the biggest challenge.”
Dibo is expected to get that opportunity. Currently, schools such as Oklahoma State, Clemson, Kansas State and Wyoming are showing interest.
So while Dibo’s path to DI basketball took a detour through Casper College, he doesn’t regret one step along the way.
“I’ve learned that at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you were before,” he said, “because we’re all here now and we’ve all got to work for that spot. Even if I’m in Casper, Wyoming, and not at Kentucky,
I still have to work for my position on the court every day.”