Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — Coming off Friday’s 68-59 loss to Duke, the good news for No. 13 UConn is that Ater Majok will debut in three weeks.
The 6-foot-11, 233-pound freshman forward becomes eligible to play Dec. 20 against Central Florida. A native of the Sudan who served time in a detention camp in Egypt before living in Australia, Majok joined the Husky roster last January and was eligible to practice with the squad for the remainder of the season, but was not able to play in games.
“Oh, my God,” said senior guard Jerome Dyson after the Duke game when asked how Majok will alter the team’s rebounding efforts. “The rebounding will step up. I definitely can assure that. It’s going to be a bigger lineup. It’s going to be faster. He’s fast, too. And it’s going to be fun to watch.”
Against a supposedly “unathletic” Duke team, the Huskies were outrebounded 56-43, and 25-14 on the offensive glass.
Majok, who dropped 30 points in a Greater Hartford Pro-Am game over the summer, tested the NBA Draft waters but never hired an agent and ultimately pulled his name out. Pro teams in Spain, Italy and Greece were reportedly interested but he opted to return to campus at least in part because UConn coach Jim Calhoun has developed so many NBA big men.
Said Calhoun: “At 6-10 with a 7-foot-7 reach, he’s going to make a major splash in our league.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.