WVU’s Konate To Seek NBA Evaluation
West Virginia men’s basketball player Sagaba Konate is again going to test the NBA waters this year, though to this point he still retains the option to return to college next season.
According to WVU officials, Konate will submit the paperwork to request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee.
“Per NCAA rules, in order to gain feedback from people associated with the NBA, players are required to submit the necessary paperwork to request an evaluation,” said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins. “Sags plans to do this while leaving open his option to return.”
Konate also tested the NBA waters last year but ultimately decided to return to WVU for his junior season.
His 2018-19 campaign was limited to just eight games of action, though. The 6-foot-8, 250-pound native of Bamako, Mali, suffered a knee injury late in the 2017-18 season, though he didn’t miss any games at that time. He eventually underwent surgery to repair the damage last summer. Konate still complained of knee pain even after the surgery, though. He did play in eight of West Virginia’s first nine games this season, averaging 13.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.75 blocks per game. But after helping the Mountaineers to a Dec. 8 victory over Pitt with a 16-point, nine-rebound, seven-block performance, he would be unable to play any further. Because his playing time was so limited this past season, Konate actually qualifies for a medical redshirt, meaning he still has two seasons of college eligibility remaining if he chooses to use them.
As a sophomore in 2017-18, Konate averaged 10.8 points and 7.6 rebounds in starting all 36 games for West Virginia, which went 26-11 and advanced to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament. A third-team all-Big 12 selection and member of the league’s all-defensive team, he had the second most blocks in the country with 116 last year. His 191 career blocks are the most in WVU history. A graduate of Kennedy Catholic (Pa.) High School, Konate also averaged 4.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game as a freshman.
This is the first year that college prospects can test the NBA waters with the help of an agent, though it’s unclear at the moment is Konate is using such a representative.
Under new rules adopted by the NCAA last year, college players can utilized NCAA-certified agents so long as they request an “evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee.” They must end the relationship with the agent if they return to college.