Spotlight beginning to shine on Romain Sato

Guard recognized by A-10, Sports Illustrated as team prepares to take on No. 1 Alabama | December 30, 2002

Junior guard Romain Sato is finding himself in the spotlight a lot this week, being featured in the Dec. 30 issue of Sports Illustrated and being named Atlantic 10 Conference player of the week for his efforts in the team's wins last week over Sienna and Eastern Kentucky. Sato averaged 28 points and 9.5 rebounds in those two games, helping the men's basketball team to an 9-2 record so far this season and a No. 19 ranking in the national polls. For the season, Sato's averaging 15.7 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game, second on the team in both categories behind only David West and enough to garner the attention of Sports Illustrated. The magazine's one-page feature on Sato talks about his tireless work ethic—both on the court and in the classroom—and humble background growing up in the Central African Republic and coming to America without knowing any English. "To be able to survive at a university like Xavier really says something about his work ethic," modern languages professor Margaret McDiarmid says in the story. The magazine also notes in a sidebar that eight Xavier players have been drafted into the National Basketball Association in the last 10 years, four of whom are still playing. Sato, who is also featured in the current issue of Xavier magazine, had 11 points and six rebounds in the Musketeers' 75-73 win on Tuesday against No. 15 Creighton. West was the star of the game, scoring 28 points, including the game-winning basket with four seconds left in the game. West and Sato will be relied on even more for the next four weeks, as the team's third-leading scorer, Lionel Chalmers, had surgery on Wednesday to repair a broken bone in his foot suffered in the Creighton game. Their first test without Chalmers will come against the top-rated team in the country, the University of Alabama, on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 5:00 p.m. in Alabama. Alabama is 9-1 on the season aftersuffering its first loss of the season on New Year's Eve when it was upset by Utah, 51-49. Tide guard Antoine Pettway was recently a "diamond in the rough" profile in Sports Illustrated.