Warhawks add 6-10 Bafutto to frontcourt

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MONROE, La. – Victor Bafutto, a 6-foot-10, 230-pound center who played in 80 games, including seven starts, during his four-year career at Mercer University from 2018-22, has signed a grant-in-aid to attend ULM and compete in basketball in 2022-23, according to an announcement made by Warhawk head coach Keith Richard on Tuesday, May 10.

Bafutto, who has one year of eligibility remaining, saw action in 14 games as a fifth-year senior in 2021-22, including three starting assignments. He logged more than 10 minutes of playing time in four games. Bafutto made 61 percent (17-of-28) of his field-goal attempts while averaging 2.8 points and 1.8 rebounds per game. Bafutto scored a season-high eight points (3-of-4 FG shooting) and collected four rebounds, with three coming off the offensive glass, in 17 minutes at Furman. Bafutto earned his first start of the 2021-22 season against Troy and posted seven points, six rebounds and four blocked shots while playing a career-best 25 minutes.

“Victor will be a nice addition to our team next year as we continue to improve our size in the post,” Richard said. “At 6-10, he has a very long wing span. He also brings a wealth of Division I experience after a four-year career at Mercer University. Victor is a solid player with a high basketball IQ, and I’m glad to have him for his final season.”

A native of Brasilia, Brazil, Bafutto appeared in five games as a junior in 2020-21. He contributed four points in seven minutes and Western Carolina and tallied four points and a season-high five rebounds in seven minutes against The Citadel.

As a sophomore in 2019-20, Bafutto averaged 3.6 points and 2.5 rebounds in 31 games, including four starting assignments. He scored in double figures four times, including a 10-point effort at ETSU (5-for-5 FG shooting). Bafutto recorded his first collegiate double-double against Milligan, with 13 points to go along with a career-high 12 rebounds. He connected on 5-of-9 field-goal attempts and went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line en route to a career-best 14 points against Georgia State. Bafutto added 12 points against Canisius (5-of-8 FG shooting).

He averaged 2.8 points and 1.7 rebounds per game as a red-shirt freshman in 2018-19. Bafutto saw action in 30 games and his 28 blocked shots led the Bears. He played more than 10 minutes in 11 games, including 19 each against Brewton-Parker and at ETSU. Bafutto produced four blocked shots each at ETSU and against UNC Greensboro. He netted a season-high 13 points at Western Carolina, hitting 6-of-9 shots from the floor. Bafutto tallied nine points, three rebounds and four blocks in his home debut against Piedmont College.

Bafutto, who earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Mercer, was listed on the Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll four years in a row. In addition, he was twice named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court.

He graduated from Centro Educacional Sigma in his hometown of Brasilia, Brazil. Bafutto also competed for the Brazil U18 National Team in the 2016 FIBA Americas Championship in Valdivia, Chile.

Bafutto becomes the fourth member of ULM’s 2022 recruiting class, joining 6-5 guard Jalen Bolden, from Zachary (Louisiana) High School; 6-0 guard Tyreke Locure, a transfer from UAB; and 6-10 forward AD Diedhiou (pronounced DEE-juu; juu rhymes with who), another transfer from UAB.

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