Dear Sagaba…

Sagaba Konate Named to All-Big 12 Preseason Team

Dear Sagaba,

This is your life and you should ultimately make the decisions that you want to make.  You’re a young man and making mistakes is part of learning.  It’s a critical, necessary part of growing up.  My concern for you is that this is a really, really big mistake.  Making huge, life-altering mistakes can negatively affect the rest of your life.  It’s clear from everything you’ve said in the past and your most recent Instagram post that playing in the NBA is your top priority.  Perhaps that goal led to you believe that not playing this year to rest your injured knee was the best choice.  Maybe you wanted to play and help your team, but didn’t want to risk it because of the chance of a more serious injury.  This, of course, would end the possibility of you playing in the NBA.

Sags listen, as an outsider looking in, as someone that doesn’t have any real vested interest in the situation, I’m here to tell you that sitting out this year was your first really, really bad decision.  As you know, making it into the NBA is extraordinarily difficult.  It requires more than the freakish athletic ability that you possess, Sagaba.  It’s more than the breathtaking highlights and staggering success in college.  It’s the complete product.  It’s the freakish athletic ability and the staggering success and it’s also the ability to stay healthy and a thousand other things.  Even if you only missed 5 games or 10 games with a knee injury, that knee would be put under the microscope by every GM in the NBA.  To miss nearly an entire season with a knee injury is devastating for pro prospects.  Even if you weren’t undersized for your position, it would be difficult. Even if your perimeter shooting wasn’t a glaring weakness, it’d still be nearly impossible.

Maybe you are only testing the waters, doing your due diligence, making the mature choice by looking at all of your options.  Maybe you just want to gain feedback from NBA scouts, but it doesn’t feel like it.  It feels like from your Instagram post that this is good bye.  According to your message, “I believe it is in my best interest to declare for the 2019 NBA Draft.”  Whoever is helping you make your decisions is simply wrong.  They are being influenced by money and money only.  Understand that not one other adviser on the planet would agree that going to the NBA this year “is in your best interest.”  There is no question that returning next year is what’s best for you.  There’s not even an argument that can be made against it.   It is my hope that you will consider this before making a decision that will affect you for the rest of your life.  Make this decision not for me, not for West Virginia, not for the basketball team but for yourself.



Brad, Mountaineer Sports