Sports | May 4, 2021 9:31 am

Tacko Fall’s Surprising Diet, Revealed

What exactly does the 7’7” Boston Celtics center eat to fuel his nearly 300-pound frame?

Tacko Fall of the Boston Celtics
Tacko Fall of the Boston Celtics at TD Garden in 2019.
Omar Rawlings/Getty

While it’s hard to imagine an individual who stands 7’7” (in shoes) and weighs close to 300 pounds ever not being on the radar, Senegalese basketball player Tacko Fall didn’t really get much national attention until he almost helped the University of Central Florida’s Knights upset Zion Williamson’s top-seeded Duke Blue Devils in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

The all-time men’s basketball Division I record holder for field-goal percentage (74%), Fall moved onto the NBA following his career at UCF and is now a backup center — and fan favorite in Boston — for the Celtics.

Fall is also, as of about a year ago, a flexitarian who eats some meat but also has incorporated a variety of plant-based products from Lightlife into his diet. “The first time I tried anything vegan was right around when we started quarantine,” he tells InsideHook. “At first, I was a bit skeptical and didn’t really think it was going to taste good. Lightlife just asked me to try it, so I did and it tasted amazing. Much better than I thought it would. The timing was perfect because I’ve been trying to cut down the amount of red meat I consume. I’ve hired someone to come and make some meals for me where I’m just trying different things. Compared with meat, I really don’t see much of a difference. You don’t need to add much to it. They both taste pretty good.”

Fall wasn’t the only one that was impressed with Lightlife’s plant-based offerings.

“My mom had never tried anything vegan before. Back in Africa, we really don’t even consider it,” he says. “When she came over to visit, she saw I had a bunch of plant-based ground meat. She asked me what it was and I told her it was vegan. She looked at me like I was crazy. But, she made a dish with it and it was great. She pretty much cooked all of it after that. I still have some that I kept in the freezer.”

Initially a little worried that primarily switching to plant-based foods would hurt his ability to maintain a healthy weight, Fall got some reassurance that wouldn’t be an issue after remembering one of his teammates, Semi “Muscles Jesus” Ojeleye, has been vegan for a while.

“Semi has been vegan as long as I’ve known him. If you look at him, Semi’s a big dude,” Fall says. “For someone like him to be vegan and still maintain his physique, that should tell you everything you need to know. I won’t sit here and tell people to become vegan, but I think it doesn’t hurt to give it a try.”

Though he has yet to sample a three-way from Kelly’s Roast Beef, there is one Boston staple that Fall also suggests trying … and it ain’t vegan. Neither is his favorite fast-food joint.

“The only local food in Boston that I’ve tried is a lobster roll,” he says. “It was awesome. I love them. I love lobster. Chick-fil-A is my favorite fast-food place. The thing with Boston is there aren’t a lot of Chick-fil-As around. The closest to me is 30 to 35 minutes away so I have to drive for a while to get to it. That’s good, because I’ve been trying to watch what I eat lately, so I’ve definitely cut down on that a lot.”

But there ‘s another national chicken chain where you may also see flexitarian Fall dining.

“When I came over to the States in 2012, the second night I got here, we went to Buffalo Wild Wings. That was the first time I had barbecue wings,” he says. “I never had barbecue in my life. I was pretty much like, ‘What the hell is this?’ That’s the only time I tried something new and it was a shock to me. I’ve really gotten to enjoy it over time and barbecue wings have become one of my favorite foods. I like spices. Back home, our cooking is very spicy and we use a bunch of different things. My mom brought some of them here which I still have. Whatever I make, I just add them to it. I do like hot food.”

Us too, Tacko. Us too.