Lobo basketball gets commitment from 6-10 BYU transfer

May 9—The UNM Lobos got bigger. Again.

For the second consecutive day, the Lobos landed a commitment from an athletic frontcourt player, adding size and depth to the roster for the 2024-25 season.

Atiki Ally Atiki, a 6-foot-10 senior-to-be from Tanzania who played the past three seasons at BYU, has committed to play for Richard Pitino and the UNM Lobos. He has one season of playing eligibility remaining.

Atiki, an excellent rim protector who played the entire past season with a right thumb injury he had fixed after the season, is primarily a "5", where he will compete with returning Lobo starting center Nelly Junior Joseph, also 6-10, for playing time.

The Lobos have also added to the roster this week 6-8 prep forward Daniel Thomas, more of a "4" or power forward. They join a 2024 recruiting class that also includes 6-9 University of Arizona transfer Filip Borovicanin and 6-10 prep forward Jovan Milicevic.

This offseason, the Lobos lost three frontcourt players — starting power forward JT Toppin (6-9) and reserve center Sebastian Forsling (7-0) to the transfer portal and reserve forward Isaac Mushilla (6-5) to expired eligibility.

Atiki, hampered by the thumb injury, averaged 4.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.5 blocks in just under 11 minutes per game off the bench this past season.

Two years ago, in just under 15 minutes per game, Atiki averaged 1.1 blocks and had a block percentage of 8.4%, which would have ranked in the top 35 in the country had he qualified by playing more minutes.

UNM has one scholarship remaining for the coming 2024-25 season, one Pitino has said he hasn't yet decided if he will use this offseason or hold onto to have available if a player transfers after the season starts.

Atiki had an official recruiting visit to Albuquerque in the past week.

BYU BIO: The player bio page on the BYU basketball web site states that Atiki loves to draw and paint, speaks Swahili, is an avid soccer player and fan and a pool shark.

And his name is pronounced: a-TEEK-ee A-lie a-TEEK-ee.

OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL: While the news, and Journal story with an interview with Thomas, broke on Wednesday, UNM didn't officially announce or comment on the signing of the incoming freshman until Thursday.

In a statement released by the team, Pitino said of the new Lobo: "We are excited about our addition of Daniel to our basketball program. He has the size, toughness and upside that we were looking for in a young post player. He will fit in well with our culture on and off the floor."

UNM and its coaches don't comment on new players until all paperwork has been cleared.

2024-25 LOBO ROSTER: As of May 9, and listed alphabetically, here is the UNM Lobos men's basketball roster for the coming season with one scholarship still available.

F Deraje Agbaosi, 6-7 (returning walk-on)

F Mustapha Amzil, 6-9 (returning)

G Braden Appelhans, 6-7 (returning)

C Atiki Ally Atiki, 6-10 (transfer from BYU)

F Filip Borovicanin, 6-9 (transfer from Arizona)

G Dylan Chavez, 6-5 (incoming freshman walk-on)

G Donovan Dent, 6-2 (returning)

G Kayde Dotson, 6-2 (incoming freshman)

G Shane Douma-Sanchez, 6-1 (returning walk-on)

C Nelly Junior Joseph, 6-10 (returning)

F Jovan Milicevic, 6-10 (incoming freshman)

G CJ Noland, 6-4 (transfer from North Texas)

F Daniel Thomas, 6-8 (incoming freshman)

G Tru Washington, 6-4 (returning)

G Quinton Webb, 6-6 (returning)