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'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

Damari Monsanto enters transfer portal

Redshirt senior leaves after three years at Wake Forest
Evan Harris
Damari Monsanto celebrates a 3-pointer at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium in January 2023. Monsanto averaged career highs in points per game (13.3) and 3-pointers per game (3.2) during the 2022-23 season.

After a rollercoaster three years, Wake Forest Men’s Basketball guard Damari Monsanto has entered the transfer portal, according to reports.

Monsanto, a sharpshooting wing, was initially scouted as a three-star recruit out of Western High School near Pembroke Pines, Fla. Though recruited by a few “Power 6” programs, including Texas Tech and Kansas State, he chose to play under current Wake Forest Head Coach Steve Forbes at East Tennessee State.

After redshirting his first year, Monsanto leaped into a prominent role for the Mountaineers during the 2020-21 season, leading his team in rebounds per game (7.3) and becoming the second-highest scorer on the team (11.8 ppg).

After entering the transfer portal the following offseason, Monsanto — then a redshirt sophomore — chose to follow Forbes to Wake Forest. Despite much hype around his arrival, the guard suffered an early setback. In June 2021, Monsanto suffered a torn achilles, initially thought to be season-ending. A positive recovery time allowed for Monsanto to be cleared by doctors in January 2022, and he earned a reserve role in which he averaged 7.3 points per game.

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Monsanto performed at peak levels during the following 2022-23 season, electrifying the Demon Deacon crowd with a career-high in points per game (13.3) and 3-pointers per game (3.2). Monsanto started in 21 of his 27 games on the season, including a 28-point performance at Notre Dame

Disaster struck later that season, however, as Monsanto suffered a torn patellar tendon in a mid-February game at NC State. His recovery from the season-ending injury was expected to allow him to return early during this season, but Forbes revealed later on that Monsanto suffered another setback, halting him from returning until later on in the season. As Monsanto eased back into playing shape, he uncharacteristically struggled, shooting career-low averages from both the field (34.0 FG%) and three-point line (34.7% 3PT). 

Monsanto’s playing time slowly decreased over the course of February and March, having played a season-high 23 minutes at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium in early February. Since, the guard had steadily played less often, playing only five minutes in his final appearance in a Demon Deacon uniform.

In the coming weeks, appearances with the team waned, as he initially sat on the bench during games against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. However, during the final game of the regular season against Clemson, Monsanto did not participate alongside fellow senior Andrew Carr in a pregame Senior Day ceremony. Instead, Monsanto took his jersey plaque in the team tunnel, took a picture with a young fan and spectated the game away from the team bench.After his departure was announced, Monsanto tweeted out: “Wake [Forest] fans and staff I couldn’t say thank you enough for opening up and making me feel at home and supporting me through all the highs and lows.”

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About the Contributor
Sean Kennedy
Sean Kennedy, Sports Editor
Sean is a junior from Long Island, NY majoring in communication and minoring in journalism and film studies. Outside of the OGB, he is the president of the Sports Analytics Club and a member of Wake Radio. In his free time, you can find him following all levels of professional sports and supporting his favorite teams — the Celtics, Jets, Yankees and Islanders.

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