The University of Louisville men’s basketball program and head coach Pat Kelsey announced Wednesday the signing of transfer Aboubacar Traore to the 2024-25 roster.

The 6-foot-5 forward (pronounced uh-BOO-buh-car TRY-or-ay), commonly referred to as ‘Kader’, has played the last three seasons filling the stat sheet at Long Beach State, where he’s already amassed 1,033 points, 853 rebounds, 318 assists and 123 steals in his college career. Traore has one year of eligibility remaining.

“We are getting one of the best rebounders in the country,” said Kelsey. “‘Kader’ is, not-so-quietly, one of the most productive players in college basketball. He’s come up big in pressure situations, be it extensive high-level international competition or leading his previous team to an improbable NCAA Tournament run. Kader’s versatility is what makes him so special. He’s tough enough to guard a five but athletic enough to defend a point guard and has a great feel for the game.”

Traore averaged 12.0 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists as a junior for Long Beach State, helping the program reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012. He had 14 points, 15 boards and four assists in a tourney loss to No. 2 seed Arizona.

Traore also scored a career-high 30 points against Cal Poly. Other top 2023-24 highlights included 14 points, eight assists and six rebounds at San Diego State, as well as 15 points, four steals and four rebounds at Michigan.

The native of Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, also tallied 55 steals and 51 blocks last season. He was named the Big West Conference’s Best Hustle Player for the second straight season, as well as Most Outstanding Player of the conference tournament after averaging 13.0 points, 10.7 rebounds and 8.7 assists over the event. He received First Team All-Big West honors.

Traore had a triple-double with 12 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds in the first game of the Big West tournament against UC Riverside and finished the season with 12 double-doubles, including a 23-point, 22-rebound effort at Cal State Fullerton.

The forward concluded his time at Long Beach State as the program’s No. 3 all-time rebounder and shot-blocker. He was one of only two players in program history to record 100 steals and 100 blocks.

Traore averaged 10.1 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists as a sophomore, as well as 8.3 points and 8.1 rebounds as a freshman. He set a modern-era LBSU record as a rookie with 23 rebounds in a game, the most in the program since 1961.

Traore won two league championships in high school, averaging 20 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in his final season. He earned All-Star honors with the National Preparatory Association in Montreal.

He previously played at the Labase Amerique Academy in his native Côte D’Ivoire. He has represented the national team multiple times and was the final cut for the 12-man roster prior to the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

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