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6 questions with Curtis basketball standout Zoom Diallo: Is he on the verge of becoming a big name nationally?

The class-of-2024 point guard with the Vikings just picked up an offer last week from Pacific-12 Conference champion Arizona

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. - Zoom Diallo is on quite a hot streak - and it's not even the regular season of Curtis High School basketball.

After strong showings at the Section 7s and the IMG Under Armour Camp in June, the class-of-2024 point guard is quickly rising on a national scene as a top-50 recruit (as well as the state's top junior to be).

At the 2022 Curtis Summer Shootout over the weekend, SBLive WA sat down with Diallo for a quick question-and-answer session:

Q: Playing in the Curtis Summer Shootout is a cool anniversary for you - it is the first time you put on a Vikings’ uniform in your home state as a seventh grader. What do you remember about that?

A: "Quick little story how I even got to varsity (in the summer of 2018): I was playing JV in seventh grade, and I was killing it and doing my stuff - me and Devin (Whitten) were both killing it. But I was just small, though. Then we went to Oregon State team camp, and I believe somebody got hurt or got tired, and Coach (Turner) Cagle called up one of the JV kids on my team, ‘Hey do you want to come play?’And the kid was like, ‘Coach, I am tired and I don’t know if I can play!’ So Coach Cagle asked Coach (Tim) Kelly if I should call Zoom. He calls me up and says, ‘Zoom, do you want to play varsity and get up to the Oregon State main court?” I was like, ‘Yep, got you, coach, I am on my way!’ We were at Dutch Bros. (Coffee), so I ran back to the hotel, got my stuff and ran back to the main gym. That is how I started playing varsity.

"That whole seventh grade summer, I was really just a shooter. I was too small and I couldn’t drive against guys - they were bigger. So I was just a shooter. Coach Kelly put me in certain minutes. Then I got more minutes, so I got used to it. But I just remember I had fun. Seeing me play now, I low-key remember that I was really little playing in these same tournament and same summer leagues. It was really crazy."

Q: It’s been a few months since you guys won the Class 4A championship in the Tacoma Dome. What about that last game against top-ranked and undefeated Mount Si sticks with you the most?

A: "Just going into the game, the odds were against us. So that stayed with us, and we were able to pull out that win against a such big-name team, and undefeated Mount Si team. That sticks out. And the fact we played hard the whole (36) minutes going to overtime. When they went on that 8-0 run, some teams would be like, ‘Damn, man!’ and try and force stuff. We kept our composure and we kept going. We put our heads down and kept going and kept going."

Q: I know you are starting to hear it - "Zoom is blowing up recruiting-wise." You had a great weekend in Arizona at the Section 7s and also in Florida at the IMG Under Armour Camp. The University of Arizona just offered you a scholarship. What is your feeling about the way your name is starting to get out there as a national recruit?

A: "I mean, it’s all a blessing. Everything that is coming my way is a blessing. But as I was growing up, as I trained, this is something that I wanted. I wanted to have … my name out there. Now everything that comes my way, I use it as a motivation and a blessing. I remember when I got those first couple of offers, I went into the gym the next morning like it was motivation. I couldn’t stop working. So everything comes my way, like I am saying again, it is a blessing. It gives me motivation. It keeps me working."

Q: What is it about your skill set that big-time college coaches are now starting to realize and see about you?

A: "They see, one, I am a bigger type of point guard. And my vision and my pace - I am not a rush guard. I am able to run a team, and I am able to do all the little things a guard can do, especially at a young age as a sophomore. That is what they like to see. I think I can score at all three levels."

Q: Given that your father has a limousine business, how many times have you cruised in a stretch limo?

A: "I have driven in it a few times. He even drove me to an AAU tournament in it … He’s used that job as a side hustle because he works on the military base. When planes come in, he makes sure all their stuff is ready before they fly out. And he drives the limo on the weekends, and it is kind of different. You don’t see too many people you know whose dad is a limousine driver. But when he takes me places in it, I kind of feel like a little big time, I am not going to lie. It is cool. It is getting me ready for when I get to the big leagues."

Q: Thursday night was the NBA Draft. How much did you pay attention? How of an impact did it have on you watching the three guys from Washington (Paolo Banchero, Tari Eason, MarJon Beauchamp) get drafted in the first round?

A: "When I watched Paolo, Tari and MarJon, every time they said their name, I felt chills. Growing up, I watched them play. Them being around the area, and the year before that with Malachi Flynn, who I am close with - those two years seeing that, it’s like, ‘OK, I’ve really got a shot at this being from my hometown.’ It gives me more motivation, more confidence. It’s kind of crazy seeing those guys and the work they put in. Me watching them play, I know I can really do this.

"Imagine, on day, if they said, ‘Zoom Diallo!’"