WVU’s Esa Ahmad Also To Test NBA Status
A second Mountaineer basketball underclassman is going to test the NBA waters.
Earlier this week, sophomore center Sagaba Konate announced that he was going to submit his name for the NBA draft. But he’s not going to hire an agent, which will allow him to pull back out of the draft and return to WVU next year.
Now West Virginia junior forward Esa Ahmad has also decided to test his pro potential, as he’s going submit the paperwork to go through the NBA Draft process as well. And like Konate, Ahmad will not hire an agent.
BlueGoldNews.com’s Kevin Kinder asked Ahmad following WVU’s loss to Villanova in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament on March 23 if he had considered turning pro and bypassing his senior season.
“I haven’t thought about it,” and then he repeated, “I haven’t thought about it.”
The speculation among the BlueGoldNews.com staff at the time was Ahmad’s answer rang a little hollow because every major college player at least thinks about it.
Whether he had thought about it then or not, in the two weeks since, he’s had time to decide to test his NBA worth, though leaving open the door to return to West Virginia next season.
“Just like Sags, Esa will go through the NBA draft procedures in a systematic and professional manner by exploring the situation,” WVU head coach Bob Huggins said. “Numerous college basketball players are testing the waters, gaining valuable feedback and leaving open their option to return to school.”
College basketball players have until May 30 to officially remove their names from the NBA draft.
A native of Cleveland, Ahmad missed the first 16 games of the 2017-18 season, as he was serving an NCAA suspension. He ultimately played in 21 games, averaging 10.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest.
Both Konate and Ahmad are leaving open the possibility of returning to WVU next year, and it seems very likely Konate will be back in a Mountaineer uniform for the 2018-19 campaign. But Ahmad’s future would appear to be more up in the air at the moment. Even if the 6-foot-8 forward doesn’t find the NBA ready for him at this point, he can also choose to try to cash in on the pro basketball markets overseas. He has eight weeks to think about it.