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NEW YORK — He has been one of the more popular Bethel University Wildcats in recent years. Foday Sankaray, the 6’4 senior from the Bronx, New York is back home after he and thousands of …
NEW YORK — He has been one of the more popular Bethel University Wildcats in recent years. Foday Sankaray, the 6’4 senior from the Bronx, New York is back home after he and thousands of other student-athletes around the country saw their campus experiences cut short due to COVID-19. He and others are forced to continue their studies on-line.
The basketball standout averaged seven points and three rebounds this past season. He appeared in 26 games for the Wildcats and shot 42 percent from the field. He shot 72 percent from the foul line and hit 24 three-pointers on the year. He averaged over eight points and four rebounds in his Wildcat career.
Foday’s story is much more, however, than just numbers. After two seasons at Sullivan County Community College, he found his way to McKenzie through connections with the Bethel staff and his mentor Coach Jackie Knowles.
Sankaray brought instant energy to the Bethel program. Along with his athleticism and energy, Foday came off the bench to spark Bethel at both ends of the court. Bethel color commentator Zach O’Kelley deemed him “The Human Microwave.”
Much of his popularity was a result of that energy, but also because of his demeanor on and off the court. Coach Jeff Britt said, “Foday has been such as joy to coach and be around the last couple of seasons, he always has a big smile on his face and possesses a great personality.”
He remains that same person today despite tragedy hitting the Sankaray family recently. His father, Musa Sankaray passed away on January 2. After missing five games, he returned and finished the season with the Wildcats, who finished the year at 19-12. The Cats were 10-8 in the SSAC.
Sankaray faces another challenge these days as he, his mother Fatima and his three younger siblings find themselves in the epicenter of the virus, which is affecting the entire nation and world.
Foday told the Bethel SID department, “It has been tough losing my father and now battling the current crisis. We are a strong family of faith led by my mother and the legacy left by my father. Even simple things like visiting the supermarket is challenging. We have to walk several minutes and then the long lines are everywhere and you have to be conscious of those around you. I am trying my best to be strong for my family. My experiences at Bethel have helped me and I lean on those memories quite often. I am thankful for the respect and love I received from my teammates, Coach Britt, Coach Johnson, Coach Stanley, the school staff and the fans at Bethel. This has helped me get through these trying times.”
Coach Britt added, “It has been a tough time for Foday, but he is a person of strength and determination. I am so proud of him and how he has and is currently enduring these tough times. He made our program better by being with us these past two seasons. God Bless him and his family.”
Sankaray hopes to graduate this summer and looks forward to a career in business or playing professionally in Europe.