A 6-foot-8-inch forward from Dakar, Senegal, senior Pierre Sarr is ready to compete for the Bearcats this season. In addition to playing a prominent role on the team, the senior transfer student wants to bring his experience to a young BU roster and help the team win in his final season of college basketball.
Sarr transferred to Binghamton from Monmouth University after playing there for three years. He has been in the United States since 2012, his sophomore year of high school. He finished his high school basketball career at the competitive Roselle Catholic High School in New Jersey. Moving from Africa to America was a big change and difficult transition at first, but he was able to adjust.
“It was pretty hard at the beginning language-wise … the weather, the snow over here — it doesn’t snow in Africa,” Sarr said. “But then I found a group of friends that helped me around, pretty good advisers, all that kind of stuff. Right now, I’m good.”
At Monmouth, Sarr competed in 79 career games with eight starts. He shot 51 percent from the floor and 69 percent from the foul line, totaling 188 points and 192 rebounds and scoring a career-high 16 points as a sophomore. The Hawks achieved team success while Sarr was a member of the team, winning the 2016 and 2017 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) regular season championships. The team achieved an overall record of 66-35 during his time as Hawk.
Before the start of his basketball career, Sarr played soccer as a child. It is the most popular sport in Africa, but he was noticeably taller than his teammates and opponents. He didn’t give basketball a shot until one of his close friends told him he should try it.
“I didn’t like it at first, I didn’t like it at all,” Sarr said. “But from there I just started playing every day and just fell in love with the game. I came over here in high school as a sophomore, and I just kept playing and obviously went to college here.”
After four years as a student at Monmouth and three years on the basketball team, he transferred to Binghamton to play out his final season of eligibility. His familiarity with Binghamton head coach Tommy Dempsey helped influence his choice.
“It was mostly about Coach Dempsey, cause he is pretty close with my high school coach,” Sarr said. “They both kinda work alike, basically, and I really like him. That’s why I feel like Binghamton basketball is a pretty good program.”
Sarr’s personal goal this season is success for the team, ideally reaching the NCAA tournament. He also said he’s looking forward to big games this season, such as Michigan State and Pittsburgh, and also games within the America East. For the 2019-20 season, Sarr seems to think that practice has gone well for both him and the team as a whole. He is one of five transfers and 10 newcomers on a completely overhauled Binghamton roster.
“Obviously we have a lot of work to do because everybody is kind of new with a lot of freshmen,” Sarr said. “We’re getting there, we just have to keep working.”