Memorializing Mamadou


Badger Athletics

N’Diaye on the court

Friends and teammates of Mamadou N’Diaye, who died this summer in Montana in a drowning accident, gathered on the quad for a candlelight vigil honoring the beloved NVU student on Friday, Aug. 28.
Mamadou came to NVU from Prince George, Maryland ,where he played basketball at Potomac High School. N’Diaye played AAU basketball with AHoops and Team Rampage during his off season.
N’Diaye dreamed of one day playing in the NBA. He worked hard on and off court to work towards his goal of earning his degree. All his professors, coaches, teammates and fellow students always knew him to be kind, caring and inspiring.

N’Diaye’s Badger Athletics photo (Badger Athletics)

Junior Alexandra Berry opened the vigil reading from a testimony by sophomore Devyn Thompson, one of Mamadou’s best friends from home and NVU.
Thompson wrote, “Dear Dou, As I write this, I’m back home on Branch Avenue passing by the communities we grew up in. The first time I knew of you was our junior year of high school. I knew your teammates well, and Potomac High regularly played North Point High in regular season and local Christmas tournaments. Now which school had the better basketball team will always be a never ending debate between us.
“My favorite memory of you is the day we really became friends. I was sitting by myself in Stearns, and you came and sat down with me. I had tacos and you had at least three chicken sandwiches. You watched me eat for a few seconds then out of nowhere started mocking my chew. I laughed, and related by mocking you back. After that, our friendship was as close to siblings as it could be.
“Thank you for all the jokes, thank you for all the tight bear hugs, thank you for watching scary movies with me even though you were terrified of them. Thank you for all the late night heists; every other night we would go down to late night with empty book bags and leave with hella drinks and snacks.
“You’re my partner in crime, my roommate, but most of all my brother. We celebrated each other’s achievements, and pushed each other to be great on and off the court because we both had to make our parents proud. You did.
“We’re just two kids from PG county who wanted to turn our dreams into reality no matter what. We were doing just that.
“You should be here and I shouldn’t have to say goodbye…You practiced what you preached on a daily basis by showing unconditional kindness to everyone you came across, may we all move in the same grace you did. Finally, as your minister this afternoon said, you are forever in eternal paradise and your soul is saved.
“I love you Mamadou, from this lifetime to the next.
Love, your Devi Dev.”

Thompson and N’Diaye on the court (Dev Thompson)

The same day as the candlelight service, Thompson and fellow students, Dashaun Archer and Logan Tobin, traveled to Mamadou’s service with his family in Maryland.
At the campus gathering, fellow basketball teammates held a bake sale to raise money to help with funeral and travel costs for the N’Diaye family. They raised over $480 to contribute towards those costs.
During his time with the Badgers, he saw action in 13 games and recorded seven points, two steals, one assist and one block during the season.
Any member of the NVU community who needs support during this time can reach out to the NVU-Johnson Wellness Center. To schedule a meeting, email Kate McCarthy at [email protected].
To help the N’Diaye family defray the cost of funerary costs, there is a GoFundMe page. The link is
T-Shirts are also available to purchase that read “Long Live Mamadou.” All proceeds go directly to Mamadou’s parents. The link is