Damari Monsanto will have season-ending surgery

The ACC’s leading 3-point shooter will miss the rest of the 2022-2023 campaign with a torn patella tendon


Evan Harris

Damari Monsanto is helped off the field after sustaining an injury.

Aaron Nataline, Sports Editor

Wake Forest’s men’s basketball has provided an unfortunate update on redshirt junior Damari Monsanto’s injury.

“Damari Monsanto will have season-ending knee surgery to repair his torn left patella tendon he suffered in Wednesday night’s game at NC State,” the team announced. 

The news confirms fans’ worst fears after witnessing the sharp-shooting wing collapse with one hand clutching his knee during the bout in Raleigh. 

Monsanto proved himself to be a star this season, in which he started 20 games as Wake Forest’s primary threat from long-range. Not only did his 40.4% clip lead the Demon Deacons in 3-point efficiency, but Monsanto also leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in total threes by a single player with 87. His career best of 13.3 points per game established him as Wake Forest’s second-leading scorer. 

The battle against the Wolfpack on Tuesday night was knocked off-kilter once Monsanto was ruled out for the second half. The Demon Deacons netted just as many 3-point shots in the second half (three) as Monsanto did in the first 20 minutes. Just two possessions before he went down in the closing seconds, Monsanto had rounded a screen and rattled in a 3-pointer from the top of the key to bring his team within one bucket from eclipsing the N.C State lead. 

Monsanto’s ability to keep opposing defenses honest with the spacing his marksmanship provides will be sorely missed as he begins his road to recovery. Speculating the timeline of his return is difficult — torn patella tendons can roughly range from four months to a year for recovery — but what is known is that Monsanto’s 2022-23 season has reached an unfortunate conclusion. 

[Monsanto] is a strong young man, and he will overcome this latest setback. I love him, our staff loves him and his teammates love him.

— Head Coach Steve Forbes

“Deadshot Damari” put together some electrifying performances this year that cannot be overshadowed by this news. He notched six games of 20 or more points, including a season-high of 28 (8/13 3PT) versus Notre Dame. Whether he was sending Wake Forest students into frenzies with shot clock-beating step-backs or silencing opposing crowds with catch-and-shoot three balls in the faces of their favorite players, Monsanto delivered some of the most exciting moments of Demon Deacon basketball this season. 

Recovering from serious injuries is never easy for an athlete, but Monsanto has come back ahead of schedule in the past. He suffered an Achilles injury during a practice in June of 2021 that was meant to shut him down for the entirety of the following season, but by February he had returned to help Wake Forest finish out an incredible 25-win season. 

Wake Forest head coach Steve Forbes has mentored Monsanto since the two were at East Tennessee University two years prior to that season.

“[Monsanto] is a strong young man, and he will overcome this latest setback,” Forbes tweeted. “I love him, our staff loves him and his teammates love him.”

Seeing as how the Demon Deacon faithful love him as well, no matter how long it takes for Monsanto to reach full health, the Wake Forest community wishes him the best during his recovery.