After a season-ending loss to the TCU Horned Frogs in the semi-finals of the National Invitational Basketball Tournament, the UCF Knights arrived home early Wednesday morning. “I don’t know why, but it feels like we’re missing something,” Coach Johnny Dawkins said as the team exited the plane, “I’m not sure but something just feels… off.”
As it turns out, the Knights actually managed to leave Tacko Fall —all 7-foot-6-inches of him— in New York City. “You know, he’s just a really soft spoken guy. He just kind of sneaks up on you,” admitted Matt Williams, a senior guard on the team, “Sometimes you forget he’s even there.”
With Fall out of the picture in Orlando, the Sun Trust Center has moved back into first place for tallest structure in the city. “We were going to fund a rescue mission” stated one representative “but we kind of like being the tallest again.”
Fall has also become a huge tourist destination in the Big Apple. “I mean, you come to New York, and there’s just things you have to see: the Statue of Liberty, Coney Island, the Empire State Building, Central Park, and of course—Tacko Tower,” says Nancy Phillips, a tourist from North Dakota. You almost can’t scroll through Instagram without seeing tourists posting pictures in front of the 7-foot Center from Senegal.
“I just don’t understand how they could have left without me,” said Fall, who will now rely on hitching rides from strangers to make his way back to Central Florida. “Most people won’t stop to pick me up on the roads, I think because I look a bit like slender man at night.”
“I’ve never really been a basketball fan, so when I heard people talking about the situation I thought they were referring to Taco Tuesday,” said UCF student Bryant Cunningham. “Now I’m just disappointed and hungry.”
Perhaps the place where Fall’s absence is missed the most is in the Engineering building, where he is an asset to his peers in the major. “Our rockets often get stuck in the trees outside, and usually Tacko just reaches up and grabs them for us, but now we just keep losing experiments… I guess you never realize what you have until it’s gone,” said Lisa Manning, a sophomore engineering student.
“I just hope he gets back soon,” said Fall’s teammate BJ Taylor, who stands at a measly 6-foot-2-inches. “I can’t reach the cereal boxes at the top of the pantry.”