UCONN’s Adama Sanogo is a March Madness starter but can’t cash in on sponsorship deals

Adama Sanogo is from Mali. He attended the Patrick School in Union Township as a teenager.

Matt Trapani and Nick Meidanis

Mar 29, 2023, 2:58 AM

Updated 471 days ago


A former New Jersey prep school basketball star is also one of the top scorers in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
But Adama Sanogo is not able to benefit from some of the new rules that allow top college players to make money. Those rules allow players to cash in on their brand. This could be money for selling products through social media. But this is currently not allowed for international students.
Sanogo is from Mali. He attended the Patrick School in Union Township as a teenager. That school is a place for teens with NBA dreams. It helped launch Sanogo’s basketball career.
Sanogo averaged 20 points a game during March Madness. He is a big reason why UCONN is in the Final Four. But he will never admit it.
“Anybody can play good. But today was my night,” Sanogo says.
Chris Chavannes was Sanogo's coach. He says Sanogo’s humility comes as no surprise.
“The soft gentle person that he is off the court is, as you can see, totally opposite on the court. On the court, he’s a beast,” Chavannes says.
But while other players can earn money off their talent, Sanogo is stuck. The terms of his visa to go to school in the United States are getting in the way.
“I can’t say it’s unfair. It’s the law,” Chavannes says.
The Patrick School is often working to draw international students.
Chavannes says the new rules allowing students to benefit from their image are good -- but are a work in progress.
"There's some cleaning up that needs to be done with it so that it's more fair and equitable for everyone,” he says.
Connecticut senators are pushing the Department of Homeland Security for ways to change this. Some other college players have found loopholes. One player from Kentucky scored a NIL deal while the team was playing a game in the Bahamas.

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