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UConn players, Sanogo fasting from food, water into Final Four
Mar 1, 2023; UConn Huskies forward Adama Sanogo (21). (Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

UConn players, Sanogo fasting from food, water into Final Four

STORRS, Conn. (BVM) – UConn Huskies men’s basketball players Adama Sanogo, Hassan Diarra and Samson Johnson are fasting for Ramadan heading into the Final Four game and possibly the NCAA championship. Ramadan is a 30-day period where Muslims don’t eat food or drink water from dawn until sunset (roughly 14 hours a day in the U.S.). 

Starting forward Sanogo is UConn’s leading scorer – averaging 17.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists. Regardless of an NCAA championship on the line, Sanogo, Diarra and Johnson are fasting because it’s mandatory for people of Islam (with few exceptions such as health, age, etc.). 

“I have no clue how [Adama Sanogo] can do it (fast),” Jordan Hawkins, the team’s second-leading scorer behind Sanogo, told the New York Times. “I can’t do it. I definitely can’t even go 30 minutes without eating. So him doing it for a whole day and still performing at a high level the way he is, it’s unbelievable.”  

Ramadan started on March 23, so the teammates have already had a taste of fasting and competing in March Madness. They went the entire Sweet 16 matchup game without food or water since UConn vs. Arkansas tipped off at 4:15 p.m. local time (about three hours before time to break the fast). Sanogo played for 24 minutes and finished with 18 points and a game-high of eight rebounds. Diarra played for four minutes and Johnson played for two. 

In the Elite 8 matchup of UConn vs. Gonzaga, Sanogo led the Huskies with 10 rebounds and contributed 10 points and six assists in 26 minutes.

Now, in the Final Four matchup on April 1, UConn and Miami are scheduled to play at a local tip-off time of 7:49 p.m. in Houston. Since the time to break the fast will be at 7:40 exactly that evening, Sanogo and his teammates will have about nine minutes to nourish before the game. 

So, what are they eating when they break their fast? Well, UConn has easily digestible food such as PBJ sandwiches, fruit and of course some water, according to Mike Anthony of Hearst Connecticut Media Group. 

If the Huskies advance to the NCAA championship game, they’ll still be fasting since Ramadan runs until late April. Those chances are high since UConn is the highest seed remaining of the four teams.