Out of Africa

The road leading through the NCAA tournament is a long, perilous journey for all; just ask Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut’s Tanzanian-born super center. Five years ago, the 7-3’ Big East co-player of the year was e-mailing colleges from an Internet cafe in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, hoping to cultivate a better life through basketball. Today he’s the centerpiece of one of the game’s most prolific teams and a top NBA prospect. The Times reveals Thabeet's tragic past and the unlikely adoption story that fostered his rise to prominence.