Rumors have been circulating for the past week or so that Bol Kong would not be returning to Gonzaga for his redshirt junior season and we have confirmed that this is the case. Kong, who averaged 4.5 points a game last year in his first season in Spokane, arrived at Gonzaga after a very lenghtly citizenship issue that was solved in the 11th hour in his favor. The hype for Kong before the season started had been building for years before he even put on a uniform. Rumors were that he could start right away for the Zags and he had a definite NBA future. As of today, that road to a life in professional basketball has gotten a little bit rockier.
Kong's departure marks the fourth transfer in the past twelve months. Andy Poling's move feels like a lifetime ago and then we obviously had Grant Gibbs followed by G.J. Vilarino walk out the door. Speaking bluntly, I wasn't affected too much by the first three but I still had hope for Kong. Anyone that watched Kong early on in the season saw his natural ability. Although he always seemed to be a step slow, he had some offensive explosions that really did help the Zags a year ago. His best games were probably Wake Forest (12 points) and Oklahoma (14). He improved little by little on defense as the year went on as well and my hope was that a summer in Spokane would take his conditioning to that next level where he would be able to seriously contribute game in, game out.
There's no reason to get into details of why or how this came about because no one really knows what Bol's situation has been like. If further details come out, we will address it. For now, however, it is another player out the door. The only selfish positive I can see from this is that we have freed up another scholarship to use in 2011 or beyond. With Germany's Mathis Monninghoff seemingly on board (can't wait for him), we need all the scholly's we can get for a very promising 2011 class.
We wish Bol the best of luck wherever he winds up next.