This Friday night, the Orlando Magic are hosting the Boston Celtics in preseason NBA Basketball. Normally it would not really be a big deal, considering it is the preseason. But that is not case this Friday, as the game marks the return of UCF Knights alum Tacko Fall.
Fall is currently with the Celtics trying to make their roster for the season. He signed with to play in the Summer League, where he was the most popular player on the floor.
But Fall’s fanfare would not end there. For example, Fall’s name was mentioned by Los Angeles Rams Quarterback Jared Goff in a ESPN SportsCenter commercial:
Fall made his Celtics preseason debut on Sunday at home against the Charlotte Hornets, to the rousing pleasure of Celtics fans.
If you the thought cheers for Fall were unbelievable, consider this: When Tacko Fall checked into the game, the TV ratings in Boston went up by an insane 54% percent!
I CONTINUE TO BE HERE FOR THIS https://t.co/DPLFnSz8nQ— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) October 8, 2019
With all due respect to any UCF athlete playing in sports currently, there is no Knight athlete more popular than Tacko Fall - maybe ever. Sure, there may be better athletes and players in various sports, but no one has grabbed sports fans’ intrigue like Fall. As great of a story as the Griffin brothers are with Seattle Seahawks, they are not increasing the Seahawks’ local ratings by 54 percent, or getting mentioned in a SportsCenter commercial.
We as a society have always been intrigued by those who are larger than life in sports and entertainment. Perhaps the best example is wrestling legend Andre the Giant, who Bill Simmons and HBO recently did a documentary on:
Basketball has had the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Yao Ming, Manute Bol, and many more.
Fall’s rise to the national mainstream grew at the NCAA Tournament as UCF defeated VCU in the first round, when the broadcast team talked about Fall, and in the post-game interview with CBS’s Tracy Wolfson.
Fall’s anticipated matchup with Duke star Zion Willamson was the talk of the Tournament that weekend.
The match-up not only lived up to the hype, but surpassed it with a classic game in what is the most watched UCF sporting event nationally ever.
Fall’s legacy at UCF is secure. The question that everyone wants to know is will Fall make the Celtics this season?
"I think he's going to be in the NBA for a long time"— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) October 7, 2019
Brad Stevens has nothing but praise for Tacko Fall ( pres. by Ford) pic.twitter.com/jyfrwARXvs
Fall takes another step in his NBA journey this Friday night at the Amway Center in his return to Orlando.