newsmamadi diakite do blondes have more fun

Mamadi Diakite: Do blondes have more fun?

mamadi diakite
Mamadi Diakite/

UVA basketball is playing for a spot in the Sweet Sixteen, I’m sitting courtside in the Colonial Life Arena, and my wife, at home, texts me a great story idea.

I think Mamadi Diakite is better as a blonde.

Being a serious sportswriter, rooted in data, I file this away, in the Not Going to See the Light of Day folder.

And then: well, it’s Tuesday, and the ‘Hoos don’t play again until Thursday.

Seems like something worth looking into.


She’s right.

Diakite, the 6’9” junior, went blonde ahead of the first Louisville game, in the Yum! Center, Feb. 23.

To that point, Diakite had been averaging 7.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks a game, and was shooting 54.4 percent from the floor.

Good numbers, solid numbers.

Since: better numbers.

Over the past nine, Diakite has upped his output to 8.4 points and 4.3 rebounds a game.

The blocks are down slightly, from 1.5 a game to 1.4 a game.

The shooting: dramatically better.

From 54.4 percent before, he’s been shooting 60.3 percent since going Demolition Man.

And over the past two, the Marilyn Monroe version of Mamadi Diakite has been averaging 15.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game on 83.3 percent shooting from the floor.

It’s not even arguable that UVA is not in the Sweet Sixteen if Mamadi Diakite isn’t playing the way he is playing.

It’s still slightly arguable that Mamadi Diakite is playing the way he’s playing because he consulted the fine folks at L’Oreal.

Me, I think the debate is over.

Column by Chris Graham

Augusta Free Press coverage of the 2019 postseason is presented by Bear Creek. Serving Waynesboro, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg and surrounding communities, Bear Creek provides a hassle-free process to help homeowners create outdoor living spaces that bring people together. Schedule a consultation at



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