Gorgui Dieng is saying goodbye to Louisville, and the community won’t be the same. His basketball skills, positive attitude and wisdom will be missed.
A bittersweet wave of relief was felt by UofL fans when his name was the 21st to be called in the NBA draft. While no one wanted to see Gorgui go, they feel protective of him and are concerned about his future. But he wants to go and fans want most for him to be happy.
He symbolized the humility and hunger of a team that was constantly striving to get better and won for the University of Louisville a third national championship in basketball. Sending him off to the NBA was kinda like throwing him to the wolves.
As it turned out, he would wind up with the wolves, the Timberwolves of Minnesota after first getting picked by the Utah Jazz. He and Shabazz Muhammad would be traded by the Jazz for Trey Burke of Michigan.
UofL fans are going to have to make an effort to keep up with Gorgui, with him moving to an outpost in Minnesota. And they won’t be seeing much of him on TV, having joined a team with a 31-51 won-lost record in the NBA’s Western Conference this past season.
Whether Dieng could have improved his stock by staying another season at UofL will never be known. He and Rick Pitino felt professional basketball was the best move for him, and now was the time to go. Gorgui was a first-round pick so there is some comfort that his future is relatively secure financially.
Going to be tough for UofL fans to let go of him, hoping Gorgui can handle all the challenges coming his way.