When Nathan Mensah received his San Diego State offer this last July he was ranked a two-star prospect or was not yet rated by the recruiting services. Fast-forward to March and Mensah now is rated a four-star prospect by ESPN, a top 150 player by Rivals, and a three-star recruit by 247Sports and Scout. This is all pretty incredible for a young man who finds himself more than 7,000 miles from home to find a future.
Mensah is originally from Africa and was discovered by the African Youth Basketball Organization (AYBO) at the Royalties Sports Academy in Accra, Ghana. Similar to Joel Mensah, Nathan Mensah was given the opportunity by the AYBO and its founder Kwaku Amoaku to come the United States.
The AYBO is a nonprofit organization based in Southern California that specializes in the higher education of exceptional student athletes on the continent of Africa through the game of basketball. Their goal is to give these student athletes the opportunity to gain high school diplomas and college degrees as well as play the game of basketball at the highest levels.
Coming to a new country always is followed by an adjustment period and Mensah has adjusted well both off and on the court. He is currently attending Prolific Prep in Napa, California and has a GPA over 3.0. Amoaku credits Mensah’s family in helping him be a good student.
“He works very hard in the classroom and has strong work ethic instilled in him by his family.”
On the court he is having a big impact for Prolific Prep. Amoaku mentions that Mensah has a balanced game and believes that he is an elite type player, especially on defense.
“Nathan is very skilled offensively and can score from all three levels. He is an elite defender, especially as a rim protector. He also has a very high basketball IQ.”
Mensah still has a lot of room for growth and will need to put in some work before he gets to college. He spends a lot of time in the weight room in order to get stronger. Also getting as much experience as he can before college is important for his development. Coming from Africa Mensah has not played as much basketball as kids here in America, therefore playing against high-level competition will be important for him.
Mensah expects to see more attention during this AAU season. Currently he holds offers from Manhattan, Old Dominion, Oregon, San Diego State, and Santa Clara. He has made unofficial visits to the San Diego State campus and was even in attendance for the conference opener against New Mexico.
The sky is the limit for Mensah and he figures to continually get better. He has the game and size to man the middle at San Diego State. He ranks as my top 2018 prospect because he would address San Diego State's biggest need, a player that can play center, and he has the improving offensive game that could add a new dimension to the Aztecs offense that they have lacked for some time now.
I hope the coaching staff stays on him so they can fend off Oregon and any other schools that come into play in order to secure a commitment from Mensah.