Gambian-German Satou Sabally was a nightmare matchup all through her college career.
The 6-foot-4 junior small forward, who has decided to forgo her senior season and has entered the 2020 WNBA Draft, finished an illustrious career at Oregon this season and averaged 16.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.
But it wasn’t always smooth sailing for the basketball phenom.
For someone apart of a tight-knit family, the Berlin, German-native committed to head coach Kelly Graves and the Oregon Ducks, an 11-hour and six-minute plane ride overseas.
Sabally struggled adapting to American collegiate basketball her freshman year. Although she was still very productive averaging 10.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game that ended with Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors, Graves knew how high her ceiling was and the player should could become.
The game really slowed down for her in year two.
Sabally was more aggressive getting to the hoop, establishing a drive-and-kick game, increasing her scoring abilities, and nearly double her rebounding average.
On Monday, April 13, Rebecca Lobo and Holly Rowe participated in a national phone press conference ahead of the 2020 WNBA Draft. Rowe said: “I think Satou is one of the most intriguing prospects in the WNBA draft this year from a skills standpoint. I think her versatility, what she can bring and what she can continue to grow in her toolbox is probably and maybe the most versatile of anybody in this draft. I love, love, love her game”.
When the Ducks suffered their first Pac-12 conference loss of the season at Arizona State, 72-66 in Tempe, Arizona, Graves sat down to watch film with Sabally. He challenged her to be better. And she responded.
“She responded in a huge way throughout the season. She took the message to heart and improved. She got to the free throw line more and didn’t just settle for three’s. She found open teammates and rebounded; got to the offensive glass better. Those are the things we like to see as well. Get challenged by a coach and how does the player respond to that. And she did”.
Sabally is the projected No. 2 pick in the upcoming 2020 WNBA Draft to the Dallas Wings.