Just weeks before Pitt’s first official practice of the year, the Panthers lost one of their top young players to a devastating injury.
Papa Amadou Kante, a 6-foot-10, four-star freshman big man, slipped in practice and suffered a non-contact knee injury. Shortly after, Pitt announced that he is expected to miss the entire 2023-24 season due to the injury.
“He’s struggling right now,” Capel said on Wednesday in his first press conference of the year. “It hit him [that] he can’t play.”
Amadou Kante came into Pitt as one of the best prospects that Capel has brought into Pitt, especially in the front court. The Senegal native moved to the United States in 2019, and quickly burst onto the recruiting scene with a strong high-school career at South Kent School (CT).
He was set to back up Panthers’ returning five man Federiko Federiko, who is entering his junior season with Pitt.
“It’s unfortunate,” Capel added about the loss of Amadou Kante. “Even as a freshman, he probably would have been our most physical post guy. He is very strong and has an unbelievable motor. It’s something you can’t teach. It’s a big loss for us.”
The Panthers will now turn to Guillermo Diaz-Graham for more responsibility in the front court, along with his brother Jorge and returning All-ACC selection Blake Hinson, who played the four for Pitt last year.