Knoxville’s Handje Tamba signs with Tennessee

KCHS 7-footer now part of Rick Barnes’ 2021 signing class
Knoxville Catholic basketball standout
Knoxville Catholic basketball standout(Rick Russo)
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 5:08 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - He was thrilled to get the offer from Rick Barnes and Tennessee basketball and now Knoxville Catholic seven footer Handje Tamba is even happier to officially to be a part of the Big Orange family. The big man has reclassified and will enroll at Tennessee next month.

Originally a member of the Class of 2022, Tamba—an elite academic performer who plans to major in biology with aspirations to pursue medical studies—will be a freshman for the Volunteers this season.”Handje is a rim protector who can block and alter shots, and he plays with a ton of energy,” Barnes said. “He has the potential to become a strong rebounder, and he moves well for a player of his size who has only been playing basketball for four years. He’s going to provide added stability for our interior defense.”

As a junior last season at Knoxville Catholic High School, Tamba—who emigrated from Africa’s Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2017—averaged 10.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. He scored 22 points in a win over then-undefeated Bearden High School on Dec. 10, 2020. He went on to earn DII-AA All-State acclaim from the Tennessee Sports Writers Association and All-PrepXtra second-team honors from the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tamba helped lead the Irish to the 2020 TSSAA Division II-AA state championship as a sophomore.Tamba, who speaks fluent French, played his AAU ball with the BMaze Elite program, founded by former Tennessee point guard Bobby Maze (2008-10).

Tamba joins a Tennessee basketball 2021 signing class that includes freshmen Jonas AidooKennedy ChandlerQuentin DiboundjeBrandon Huntley-Hatfield and Jahmai Mashack along with incoming Auburn transfer Justin Powell.

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