UConn is making its longest March Madness run since claiming its fourth national title in 2014; the Huskies have a decent chance of winning another national championship thanks to superstar forward Adama Sanogo. He has been unstoppable throughout the tournament, and if Adama continues to perform well, there's a chance he'll be holding the trophy at the end of it all.
Adama and the Huskies will face off against Miami on Saturday, April 1, at 8:49 p.m. EST. Thankfully, that will give the 6'9" junior enough time to eat and drink for the first time since the sun rose that day. OK, we understand that you may be confused, so stick around as we explain why Adama Sanogo and two of his teammates are fasting.
Why is Adama Sanogo fasting during March Madness?
Adama Sanogo is a practicing Muslim, and he's observing Ramadan (the holy month of fasting, prayer, and contemplation).
During halftime of UConn's victory over Gonzaga in the Elite Eight, the 21-year-old athlete made a beeline for the oranges and grabbed a banana and coconut water at sundown — it was the first time he'd eaten that day, per the New York Times.
"That was good," Adama told the outlet, noting that despite not having eaten in well over 14 hours, he went with fruit and water because he "didn't want to eat something heavy and go back to the game." Smart choice!
When asked how he does it, Adama revealed that he's fasted during Ramadan since he was 13 or 14 years old: "It's something that I'm used to, and so I don't feel it now," he said via the New York Times.
"I have no clue how [Adama] can do it," guard Jordan Hawkins, the team's second-leading scorer behind Adama, said. "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."
What are the fasting rules for Ramadan?
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, all Muslims must refrain from eating or drinking from dawn to dusk for 30 days. The act of fasting is mandatory for all healthy adult Muslims, as it reminds them of "the less fortunate" and reinforces "the need to be thankful."
"Fasting during Ramadan means abstinence from all food or drink, including water and chewing gum, from dawn to sunset. It is recommended that before sunrise, Muslims eat a prefast meal known as suhur. This meal often resembles breakfast, but in some cultures, it may include more dinner-like foods," the Academy said.
The organization added, "After sundown, Muslims break their fast with iftar, a meal which usually starts with dates and water or milk, followed by dinner. Muslims are permitted to snack at night between those two meals, and hydration is encouraged, especially when Ramadan falls during summer."
Hassan Diarra and Samson Johnson are joining Adama in fasting.
Although most only hear about Adama, it's good to note that two of his teammates — Hassan Diarra and Samson Johnson — are joining him in fasting for Ramadan. It's been a monumental challenge, but as we said before, the trio will be able to eat and drink something (not much, sadly) because the sun will set roughly nine minutes before tip-off.