Adama Sanogo shines in Patrick School debut despite defeat | Zagsblog
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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.
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Wednesday / September 23.
  • Adama Sanogo shines in Patrick School debut despite defeat

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    By ETHAN FULLER

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — After sitting out over 30 days due to New Jersey transfer eligibility rules, four-star junior forward Adama Sanogo did not know he would be starting for the Patrick School on Saturday at the Hoophall Classic until seconds before tip-off.

    “I didn’t tell him until, literally, five seconds before he was introduced,” head coach Chris Chavannes said after the game. “I didn’t want him to get nervous and antsy.”

    But despite the surprise, Sanogo wowed in his return to high school action, scoring 24 points for the Celtics while grabbing 12 rebounds and adding seven steals. The 6-foot-9 forward’s play, however, could not keep The Patrick School from falling hard against powerhouse IMG Academy, losing 73-54. 

    Sanogo carried much of the scoring load that transferred from injured no. 1 overall recruit Jonathan Kuminga, who has been out since early this month with an ankle sprain. While the box score indicates a strong individual performance, the junior was unhappy with the results after the game. The Celtics, after all, began the season ranked No. 3 by USA Today and are the No. 1 team in New Jersey per NJ.com.

    “Not really (good),” Sanogo said of his play. “I was not expecting this score. I was expecting to win the game… We’re going to go back to the gym, keep working, be better every day.”

    As for recruiting, he declined to name any specific top tier of schools, but did comment on the interest shown from UConn so far.

    “UConn is a good school,” Sanogo said. “It’s a good school and I like it. One more year – I’m going to take my time and see what’s best for me.”

    Reclassification to 2020 has also been thrown around as an option for Sanogo. But according to him, it’s not a focus.

    “I don’t know yet,” he responded curtly when asked about the potential to reclassify.

    Additionally, Bretner Mutombo joined Sanogo in making his return after a 30-day hiatus. But unlike Sanogo, Mutombo barely saw the floor, playing only two minutes and making little impact.

    According to Chavannes, the decision was made after nerves clearly were taking a toll on the junior.

    “You’re watching in pregame warmups and he’s nervous – extremely nervous,” he said. “I knew he was gonna have a difficult time whereas (Sanogo) was more go-with-the-flow.”

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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.