Thomas Shea/The Mirror
If you watch a Fairfield University Men’s Basketball game, it would take all of five minutes for you to see why Head Coach Sydney Johnson named Amadou Sidibe ‘16 the captain of the 2013-2014 team.
Even when he’s not on the court, he is vocal on the sidelines, standing up among his sitting teammates, cheering on the players on the court and leading from the side. When he’s on the court, he is not always the most statistically dominant, but his stability is the rock that Fairfield needs.
“Amadou … he’s just been steady, and that’s what we really lean on him for, just being a calming influence. Gets the offense down, so he helps us out with that,” said Coleman Johnson ’16.
“Amadou exemplifies everything that we want our student-athletes to stand for at Fairfield University,” said Coach Johnson to FairfieldStags.com after he announced that Sidibe would be captain.
In his inaugural season with the Stags, Sidibe was MAAC Co-Rookie of the Year, as well as netting two double-doubles by the season’s end, and all amongst a strong freshman class at Fairfield.
“I expected a lot from Amadou as a freshman, and he exceeded our expectations,” said Coach Johnson.
So far this season, Sidibe has been out to a good statistical start. After the first two games, Sidibe has 15 rebounds and 18 points to his name. Against Sacred Heart, Sidibe was a strong physical presence on the court and while his performance was statistically not his best, his leadership on the court was impressive.
“He is an extremely tough and a competitive player on the court,” said Coach Johnson. “Amadou is always working to become a better player. After inserting Amadou in the starting lineup in our fifth game [last] season, he went on to lead our team in rebounding.”
With a sophomore being put as captain, ahead of the only senior on the team, Maurice Barrow, there is the fear that he might not garner the same level of respect as a senior. But with this team and this captain, that is not the case.
“I feel like I have more responsibility on the team, as compared to last year, there’s a lot more stuff to do. Everybody kind of follows my lead … I’ve got to make sure everybody’s doing what they got to do on the court and off the court,” said Sidibe.
Although Sean Grennan ‘15 is a year above Sidibe, he was quick to say that in terms of leadership, they all take their cues from Sidibe, then Barrow and then they’ll step in.
“They still boss me around, because I’m still a sophomore,” said Sidibe with a laugh. “They’ll tell me ‘This is how you do it’ … I just try to help put guys in the right spot for each position.”
While some people might not have expected the decision to make Sidibe the captain, there is no doubt that he will live up to his coach’s expectation for him, which is admittedly pretty high.
Coach Johnson told FairfieldStags.com, “Amadou has a bright future ahead of him at Fairfield University and I am pleased that he will represent our team as a captain.”