In 2019, Tacko Fall went from being an undrafted free agent in the summer to making his NBA debut with the Boston Celtics in the fall. On Monday, the 7-foot-5 rookie center added another milestone to his whirlwind year: symphony conductor.
Fall stepped on the podium at Symphony Hall and led the famed Boston Pops as a guest conductor during the holiday classic “Sleigh Ride.”
Fall wore a size-48 double-extra-long tuxedo. He threw in a spin move and waved his arms during his performance, to the delight of the crowd.
Fall told The Boston Globe that it was the first time he wore a tuxedo, and he prepared by studying Shaquille O’Neal’s 2010 performance conducting the Pops. Fall used a baton presented to him by Pops conductor Keith Lockhart, who wrote “Congratulations to Tacko!” on the bulb of the instrument, according to the Globe.
Fall, who played at Central Florida, went undrafted by NBA teams in June. He delighted fans by playing for Boston in the summer league, and the Celtics signed him to a one-year agreement paying the minimum salary. His deal was converted in October to a two-way deal, which allows him to spend 45 days in the NBA this season.
Fall made his NBA debut on Oct. 26 and played in two games this month, including Friday, when coach Brad Stevens put him in to honor a request from his daughter and “give the people what they want” during a 114-93 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
When not with the Celtics, Fall plays for Boston’s G League affiliate in Maine.