Sagaba Konate had some big moments on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough for the WVU basketball team to beat Kansas on the road.
Just because Konate and the Mountaineers came up short doesn’t mean the standout sophomore is experiencing a slump this season. Far from it, actually.
Konate is becoming one of the best shot blockers in the country and will eventually go down as the best shot blocking in WVU basketball history. He has provided so many highlight reel plays this season and he could potentially be doing that for the Mountaineers for the next two seasons.
If Konate finishes his collegiate career without forgoing eligibility to play professionally, he could end up with more than 200 blocks for his career. According to WVUsports.com, the school record is 190 set by D’or Fischer, who played in the early 2000s.
Right now, Konate has 82 blocks on the season. Last year as a freshman, he blocked 53 shots. The single-season record is 124 block set by Fischer in 2004. He played just two seasons for the WVU basketball team.
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Konate is in his second season with the Mountaineers and he is showing his strength every game. Fischer and Konate are similar players with their intimidating presence, long wingspan and ability to body up any competitor. Konate is already looking stronger than Fischer, though the Philadelphia native was taller than the transplant from Mali.
The case around Konate is an amazing story as he has only played organized basketball for four years, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. To go from one area of the world to the situation he now finds himself in is nothing short of a miracle. Even though Konate is raw in some facets of the game, how quickly he has adapted to American culture and basketball life is also amazing.
Some players devote their entire lives to getting as strong as Konate is on the basketball court. He was a fast learner and devoted listener to his mentors and coaches. Although there have been some hiccups in the road, like when head coach Bob Huggins benched him for a game earlier in the season, Konate is a bright spot on a sold WVU basketball team.
Some day, Konate will reach the WVU basketball record books. Until then, it is exciting to see him reach and achieve each game.