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.
Seton Hall’s Mamu has met with close to 20 NBA teams, including the Knicks
By ADAM ZAGORIA
Seton Hall junior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili has had Zoom calls with close to 20 NBA teams, including the Knicks.
The 6-foot-10 native of the Republic of Georgia is testing the NBA Draft waters ahead of the Oct. 16 NBA Draft, and said he’s still undecided about his future plans. The NBA withdrawal deadline is Aug. 3.
“I’m taking my time and evaluating all of my options,” he said Friday. “I had a lot of interviews and I want to think about my plans.”
A native of Georgia, Mamukelashvili is the third Seton Hall player to meet with the Knicks, including senior guard Myles Powell and senior big man Romaro Gill.
The 6-foot-2 Powell was the Big East Player of the Year and the winner of the Jerry West Shooting Guard Award, while the 7-2 Gill was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player.
The Georgian native averaged 11.9 points and 6.0 rebounds for the Pirates but missed seven weeks due to a fractured wrist. He was playing some of his best ball toward the end of the season, and went for 26 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists in a Feb. 29 win at Marquette. Seton Hall won a share of the Big East regular-season title and was in line to be a 3 or 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament before the postseason was canceled.
Seton Hall will lose Powell and Gill, but is adding Harvard grad transfer and former Patrick School guard Bryce Aiken, who averaged 22.2 points as a junior and 16.7 in seven games last season. The Pirates also return a solid core, including Shavar Reynolds, Myles Cale, Jared Rhoden, Tyrese Samuel and Ike Obiagu, while adding transfer Takal Molson and several freshmen.
Mamukelashvili has been in touch with Aiken and said in April he would love to play with him if he returns next season.
Mamukelashvili is currently living alone in rural Pennsylvania during the pandemic and says he keeps himself busy training, playing Fortnite and watching Netflix. He has learned to appreciate nature and posted video to Tik Tok of what he said were two deer fighting.
As for his workouts, he says he’s running, utilizing weights and bands and making use of a basketball court close to his home. “I just go there, do some ball-handling, shooting, work on my touch so I don’t lose it,” he told John Fanta of the Big East. “I feel like you should not take days off when you stay at home because you don’t have anything else to do. So if you take a day off, you just lose one day of working hard.”
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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.