A roundup of how former area standouts are playing at The Next Level.

Tacko Fall wants to be more than just a tall guy who plays basketball.

He’s working to become a solid player who happens to be tall — one of the tallest players in the world.

Based on his early season performance, Fall seems to be headed in that direction.

Fall, a 7-foot-6 native of Dakar, Senegal, and a graduate of Liberty Christian Prep in Tavares, has helped the University of Central Florida jump out to a 6-1 start this season. The Knights’ only loss was by 10 points (67-57) to defending national champion Villanova on Nov. 20.

In that game, Fall played 37 minutes, scored 20 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. Neither were season highs — he scored 26 points on Nov. 17 against Mississippi State and grabbed 16 rebounds in the Knights’ season opener against Nicholls on Nov. 14.

Fall is averaging 13.9 points and 12.9 rebounds per game for UCF. He has reached double figures in scoring in four games and five times in rebounding, including three double-doubles.

Fall earned American Athletic Conference Player of the Week on Nov. 21.

As a freshman, he averaged 7.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

Local fans can watch Fall at 5 p.m. Saturday, when UCF hosts Maryland Eastern Shore at CFE Arena.


Kasey Hill, basketball, University of Florida

Kasey Hill wants to close out his college career with a bang.

The former Mount Dora Christian and Montverde Academy standout is getting more time on the floor each game to do just that.

Hill, a senior point guard for the University of Florida, has responded to the increased playing time with a pair of double-figure scoring outings in the Gators’ first eight games. He scored 16 points on Nov. 27 in a 65-56 win against Miami and had 11 points in UF’s 80-59 win on Nov. 11 against Florida Gulf Coast.

For the season, Hill is averaging 7.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4 assists per game.

Hill has started all eight games for the Gators and is playing 27.4 minutes per game.

Under second-year coach Mike White, Florida is off to a 7-1 start with its lone loss — a 77-72 defeat — coming against nationally ranked Gonzaga. The Gators likely will get an even stiffer challenge at 9 p.m. Tuesday against fifth-ranked Duke at Madison Square Garden in New York. The game will be televised on ESPN.


Carlon Holder, basketball, Southeastern University

Carlon Holder knows about success.

The former Lake Minneola standout was a contributor in the Hawks’ run to the Class 6A state championship game in 2014, scoring four points and grabbing three rebounds in a 60-44 loss to Miami Norland.

Now, he’s looking to help Southeastern University (3-5) reach similar levels.

A freshman, Holder is averaging 4.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per game for the Fire, an NAIA school in Lakeland. Holder is hitting 50 percent of shots and is playing 28.8 minutes per game.

Holder’s scored a season high 10 points in 26 minutes last Thursday against Warner University. He also had five assists.

In Southeastern’s season opener on Nov. 3 against Union, Holder played 35 minutes, the most time he’s spent on the floor.