An Open Letter to Sagaba Konate

An Open Letter to Sagaba Konate

An open letter to Sagaba Konate:

Dear Sags,

Perhaps that is a bit too familiar, to call you Sags, but that’s what most everyone around these parts calls you. It’s looked upon as a term of endearment.

With you having grown up in Mali — and not very long ago — I suspect you are not familiar with the 1960 hit doo-wop record by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, a song that had a number of covers to follow including by the Hollies, the Four Seasons and Jackson Browne.

We mention it because the song’s title and lyrics get right to the point that should be made right now.

“Stay,” is the name of the song.

The lyrics contain this refrain:

Oh, won’t you stay

Just a little bit longer

Please let me hear you say,

Say that you will

Say you will

Those are words that are being spoken in many ways around this state recently since word began to filter on social media and airwaves that you may be wavering about returning to WVU after saying you would go through the NBA’s draft evaluation period without hiring an agent.

We understand the seduction that comes with the dream of playing in the National Basketball Association, especially for someone like yourself who is blessed with such extraordinary talent.

It is enough to make anyone’s head spin. Thoughts of playing the game against or with LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant or James Harden is, after all, the epitome of all the effort you have put into your game.

But let me introduce a taste of reality to what is going through your mind, and no, it doesn’t concern whether or not you will be a first-round or second-round pick or a free agent, for no one doubts that you possess the necessary ingredients to succeed in the NBA.

The question isn’t whether you should go but when.

The lure of a big time contract is overwhelming, to be certain, but what you are seeking isn’t a contract but, instead a career.

To create your best chance at the kind of career that can turn you into an NBA legend with your ability to block shots, rebound and score is to lay the strongest foundation under your game that you can.

Think of the man-child who performed at WVU your freshman year and the way you developed in your sophomore season, the long stride forward you took.

That got you to the point where people were recognizing you, where you were a defensive All-American, but nowhere near where you will be a year from now. Think back, if you will, to the strides Elijah Macon took two seasons back and honestly answer the question whether he would have taken his game to a new level had he returned last year and shared time with you.

You are just realizing now what you can do, but getting 35 more college games under your belt, getting another year working with Bob Huggins and assistant Erik Martin can take you to the point where going into NBA will not be an adventure as to whether you are ready or not, but just how far you can go.

If you stay, you will miss nothing. Think to this past March, to seeing the Villanova team win the NCAA championship with a pair of juniors, Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges, leading the way. Think of the sheer joy on their faces as they finished off the championship and understand that it came with no regrets for playing that year.

Certainly your own teammate, Jevon Carter, can tell you how much it meant for him to stay through his senior year, which allowed him to develop and mature into a potential draft pick.

You have areas of your game that need work, your footwork, your ability to shoot outside and taking the ball to the hoop.

More than that, a year’s maturity would do more for your game than any technical improvements for that would keep you on the floor rather than being yanked by Huggins because you need to adjust your approach.

It’s all there for you, no doubt.

But remember, you are young, you are raw and the ultimate goal is not to become an NBA player but an NBA star, a man ready to contribute immediately and to play many years and leave a mark on the game you love.

If, along the way, you help WVU to its first national championship, you certainly won’t regret that, either.

Home forums An Open Letter to Sagaba Konate

This topic contains 6 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Butlereer Butlereer .

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    An Open Letter to Sagaba Konate An open letter to Sagaba Konate: Dear Sags, Perhaps that is a bit too familiar, to call you Sags, but that’s what most
    [See the full post at: An Open Letter to Sagaba Konate]


    I agree one more year will help him be
    Drafted even higher.


    how can you blame the kid….he is from the poorest country in the world and has 13 siblings. I can understand why he wants to make some money in Europe


    No one is blaming the kid, and everyone understands the financial situation. But if he comes back for one more year, he might play in the NBA, not Europe.


    Mr. Konate,
    I am in no place to advise you on what you should do. I just want to express my appreciation for the chance to watch you play and see the development and progress you have made in your time in Morgantown. I believe you can continue to progress even more with one more year in Morgantown. Maybe even enough to become a first round NBA draft choice with guaranteed money. But you have way more information on that than I do. And you know your financial situation, and your own mind. I do hope to see you continue your development at WVU. But I just want to again take the time to say thanks for bringing your talent to my favorite team, and wish you the best in the future, no matter what you decide is best for you.


    As long as no agent is involved, he will return. I am sure he is gettinga good evaluation on what he needs to work on. Unless of course some team gets in his ear and says they can use him.


    No one is blaming the kid, and everyone understands the financial situation. But if he comes back for one more year, he might play in the NBA, not Europe.


    I don’t buy the financial situation scenario. The Konate siblings have been living with their AAU coach in Hermitage, PA. (New Castle).
    They all got scholarships because of BB. They all got an education. At this time Sags seems the most likely to have a legit shot at the next level, but the rest still have a degree to fall back on. It’s not like they are living in poverty.

    Sags may want to make money to send back home, but that can wait for another year when he has a chance to make guaranteed 1st round big bucks instead of getting mid 2nd and maybe not much guaranteed. Even worse with the development needed he may not last more than a year then sent back to the G league or have to play overseas.

    Do you go for it now or make your foundation much more solid and hit the home run?

    Here’s a link to an article from last year about the family.

    One more

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