Triton men’s basketball player Thierno Niang signs at UW-Milwaukee
Thierno Niang traveled approximately 4,500 miles from his native country of Senegal to attend Triton College and pursue his dream of playing basketball at the highest level. After two solid seasons in River Grove as the Trojans point guard, Niang’s next stop on his journey will be significantly shorter. Niang will only travel 90 miles north as he earned a full-athletic scholarship to play basketball at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
“I ‘m really excited about starting this new chapter in my life,” Niang said. “When I came to the United States my goal was to have the opportunity to play Division I college basketball.”
Niang in his two years wearing a Triton uniform was consistently one of the leaders in the Region IV in assists. During 2010-11 as a freshman, Niang averaged six points and four assists per contest on a Trojans squad that finished third in the nation. This past season, he averaged eight points and five assists per game as Triton won the North Central Community College Conference (N4C) title en route to a 28-5 record.
Niang had offers from other mid-major programs and developed a strong comfort level with UW-Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter during his visit. “I was happy to have the chance to attend a school so close to Chicago. And when I visited Wisconsin-Milwaukee, talking with the coaches and meeting some of my potential teammates made me feel that going there would be the right choice.”
The Panthers from the Horizon League finished the 2011-12 campaign with a 20-14 record, their second 20-plus win season in the last three years. UW-Milwaukee earned a spot in the College Basketball Invitational and Jeter, who was the 2011 Horizon League coach of the year, is thrilled at what Niang can bring to the table.
“Thierno is a strong, athletic guard and will be a great piece for us,” Jeter said. “He takes great pride in his defense and he’ll really be able to help us on that end of the floor. On offense, he is unselfish and gets all of his teammates involved. He’s a very team-oriented player and will also add great leadership to our group.”
For Triton head coach Steve Christiansen, Niang becomes the sixth player during his eight-season tenure to reach the NCAA Division I level.
“I take great pleasure in seeing Thierno Niang being rewarded for his hard work on the court and in the classroom,” Christiansen said. “Coach Rob Jeter has done an excellent job sustaining success at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and I feel very strongly about the impact he and his staff will have on the next phase of Thierno’s career. Thierno was an exemplary student-athlete here at Triton College and was a major contributor over the past two years in helping to keep our program as one of the nation’s elite.”
Even though Niang’s career at Triton is complete, the impact that the school had in his success will last a lifetime. “I will never forget Triton,” Niang said. “The people here were like a second family to me. The coaches, my teammates and everyone I got to know here treated me like a brother. I’m really proud to have been part of Triton’s basketball program the last two years.”
For more information on Triton Athletics, contact Athletic Director Harry McGinnis at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3784, or visit www.triton.edu/athletics.