Waco Chat

Yves Missi

By Kevin Tankersley

Center for Baylor Men’s Basketball

“I was talking to my teammate and I couldn’t hear myself talking, and that’s when I realized how loud it was.”

I grew up playing soccer. My brother played basketball at Harvard and was captain of the team, and my parents played [basketball] for the Cameroon national team, but it wasn’t something they chose for me to do. It was more like, ‘Whatever you choose to do is fine.’ Wherever you grew up in Cameroon, you played soccer. Samuel Eto’o is a big soccer player there.

I started playing basketball around the beginning of 2020, just playing randomly with my friends. I was 14. I’m 19 now. I was around 6-2 or 6-3. My growth spurt happened after I came to the U.S. The summer I went back to Cameroon, I grew like two more inches. I was 6-8 and almost as tall as my dad.

I committed to Baylor in January 2023. I had a good relationship with the coaches. I liked their personalities. They were always checking on me, how I was doing after games, came to see me for practice. And then I just feel like it was the right place.

[The difference between playing in the Ferrell Center and Foster Pavilion] is the environment. We have so many people coming here to watch us, and almost every game is packed, and just how loud it can get. It wasn’t like that at the Ferrell Center. I remember one game, against Iowa State I believe, I was talking to my teammate and I couldn’t hear myself talking, and that’s when I realized how loud it was.

Obviously a national championship is our big goal. That’s something we’ll always shoot for. And getting to the League [National Basketball Association] is one of my biggest dreams.

I like the joy [Coach Scott Drew] brings every day. He brings a lot of joy, and the energy that he’s got every day. He’s always got the same energy.

After Baylor’s 79-73 win over Texas Tech on February 6, Drew said that Missi is “a great teammate.”

“Yves is one of those guys who does some things that obviously you can’t teach, you can’t coach. God has really blessed him, and he’s only played ball for two-and-a-half years,” Drew said.

Missi had seven dunks enroute to a 17-point, 7-rebound game for the Bears.

Yves Missi is a freshman center on the Baylor men’s basketball team and a pre-business major with concentrations in finance and international business.

A native of Yaoundé, Cameroon, he previously played at Prolific Prep in Napa, California. At an even 7 feet, Missi is the tallest player on the Baylor roster this season. His parents — dad Jean Paul is 6-10; mom Annette is 5-9 — both played for the Cameroon national team, and his brother, Steve Moundou-Missi, a 6-7 power forward, was a three-time All-Ivy selection while playing basketball at Harvard, and the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2015.