Issuf Sanon

Issuf Vladlen Sanon (Ukrainian: Іссуф Санон; born October 30, 1999), also spelled Yusuf Sanon, is a Ukrainian professional basketball player, who lastly played for Dnipro of the Ukrainian Basketball SuperLeague. Standing 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in),[1] the combo guard has experience with the Ukraine under-18 national team. He began his career with the Ukrainian club Dnipro, and was one of the top players on its reserve team.

Issuf Sanon
Issuf Sanon Dnipro.jpg
Sanon in December 2017
Personal information
Born (1999-10-30) October 30, 1999 (age 20)
Donetsk, Ukraine
Listed height1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Listed weight83 kg (183 lb)
Career information
NBA draft2018 / Round: 2 / Pick: 44th overall
Selected by the Washington Wizards
Playing career2016–present
PositionPoint guard
Career history
Career highlights and awards

Early lifeEdit

Sanon was born and raised in Donetsk, Ukraine.[2][3] His father, a native of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, met Issuf's mother while the two were studying in Ukraine. Sanon began playing basketball at age 7, following his older brother into the sport.[3] In 2014, he competed with the Falcons in the Donetsk School Basketball League, under head coach Anna Kapralova.[4]

Professional careerEdit

Dnipro (2016–2018)Edit

Sanon made his professional debut for Dnipro on October 2, 2016, scoring two points in two minutes against BIPA Odessa, in the top-tier level league in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Basketball SuperLeague.[5] In his first season with the team, he primarily competed for the club's reserve team, Dnipro-2 in the Ukrainian Higher League, the second-tier level professional league in the country. On January 17, 2017, he earned Player of the Week honors from the website, after recording a double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds, in a January 14 game, for Dnipro-2 to defeat Kremen-2.[6] He completed the season for Dnipro-2 averaging 16.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 3.3 steals per game, in the second division Higher League.[7]

In the 2017–18 season, Sanon saw more playing time for the Dnipro senior team and increased success on the reserve team.[2] His season debut came on September 27, 2017, against Demir İnşaat Büyükçekmece in FIBA Europe Cup's 2017–18 qualification rounds, playing 56 seconds and recording no statistics.[8] On October 15, 2017, with second division Dnipro-2, Sanon recorded 33 points, four rebounds, and eight assists, en route to Higher League Player of the Week accolades.[9] He scored a career-high 11 points off the bench, on December 1, 2017, to help defeat Cherkaski Mavpy, in the first division SuperLeague.[10] In his 2017–18 stint with Dnipro, he averaged 2.4 points, 1.2 assists, and 0.8 steals in 9.6 minutes per game, in 13 games played in the Ukrainian top division Super League.[2] In addition, in 5 games played, he averaged a team-best 24.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 3.4 steals per game, in the Ukrainian second division Higher League.[11]

Olimpija (2018–2020)Edit

On January 13, 2018, Sanon signed a four-year contract with Petrol Olimpija of the Premier A Slovenian Basketball League (SKL).[12][13] He debuted for his new team on January 21, 2018, recording only one steal in eight minutes in an ABA League loss to Budućnost Voli Podgorica.[14] On January 28, Sanon scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds against Šenčur GGD, in a Slovenian SKL game.[15] He notched a career-high 23 points vs. Helios Suns Domžale, in a Slovenian SKL game on February 13, shooting 4-of-7 from the three-point line.[16]

Loan to Dnipro (2019–2020)Edit

On August 22, 2019, Dnipro announced it had signed Sanon for the 2019–20 season.[17]

NBA draft rightsEdit

On April 4, 2018, Sanon announced his intentions to enter the 2018 NBA draft, where ESPN projected him to be a "strong draft-and-stash candidate."[3] By the June 11 international deadline, Sanon was one of 11 truly international prospects to remain in the 2018 NBA draft. He was eventually picked by the Washington Wizards (second round, 44th overall).[18] Sanon played for the Wizards during the NBA Summer League, but then returned to Slovenia to develop and gain more experience.[19]

On February 6, 2020, Sanon's draft rights were traded to the New York Knicks.[20]

National team careerEdit

Sanon was unable to compete for the Ukraine under-16 basketball team in 2015, due to an appendix injury.[21] An ankle injury, as well as a lack of official documentation, also prevented him from joining.[3] He made his junior national team debut for Ukraine, at the 2017 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship, in Slovakia.[22][23] In seven games played, in a span of just over a week, he averaged 19.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 3.4 steals per game, leading his team to a 12th place finish at the tournament.[22][2] Sanon was named All-European Championships U18 Honorable Mention by the basketball website[13] Entering the event as a little-known prospect, even in his home country, his unexpected success in Slovenia catapulted him into NBA draft consideration.[21][24] He was subsequently considered a top-10 prospect at the event, according to ESPN.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Sanon is a fan of the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and admired Emmanuel Mudiay during his stint with the team.[3] With Olimpija, he takes English classes up to four times each week, watching the show Prison Break to better pick up the language.[3]


  1. ^ Yusuf Sanon Height: 194 cm.
  2. ^ a b c d "Yusuf Sanon". RealGM. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Schmitz, Mike (April 4, 2018). "Ukrainian guard Issuf Sanon entering 2018 NBA draft". ESPN. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  4. ^ ""Tornado" – the first champion of the Donetsk School Basketball League". Dyadechko. May 19, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  5. ^ "Oct 2, 2016 – Bipa Basket Odessa vs. Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk". RealGM. October 2, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  6. ^ "Sanon number one in Ukrainian Higher League for round 14". Pro Basketball Overseas. January 17, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  7. ^ "BK Dnipro-2". Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  8. ^ "Sep 27, 2017 – Demir Insaat vs. Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk". RealGM. September 27, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  9. ^ "Sanon's 33-point game gives him Higher League Player of the Week award". November 10, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  10. ^ "Dec 1, 2017 – SK Cherkasy Monkeys vs. Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk". RealGM. December 1, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "BK Dnipro-2". Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  12. ^ "Nadarjeni Sanon prihaja v Ljubljano" (in Slovenian). Petrol Olimpija. January 16, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Olimpija adds Sanon to their roster, ex Dnipro". Pro Basketball Overseas. January 13, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  14. ^ "Jan 21, 2018 – Union Olimpija vs. Buducnost". RealGM. January 21, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  15. ^ "Petrol Olimpija – Šenčur Ggd 64:59 (23:22, 31:39, 43:56)". Ekipa (in Slovenian). January 28, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  16. ^ "Feb 13, 2018 – Helios Domzale vs. Union Olimpija". RealGM. February 13, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  17. ^ "Иссуф Санон - игрок "Днепра"". (in Russian). August 22, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  18. ^ "Wizards select Issuf Sanon with 44th overall pick". Bullets Forever. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  19. ^ Rosen, Zach (June 22, 2018). "The Wizards' plan for second-round pick Issuf Sanon". Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  20. ^ "New York Knicks Acquire Harkless and Two Draft Picks". February 6, 2020. Retrieved February 7, 2020. The New York Knicks announced today that as part of a three team trade that the team has acquired... the draft rights to guard Issuf Sanon...
  21. ^ a b "Ukrainian sensation Sanon to give his all to preserve Division A spot". FIBA. August 4, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Issuf Sanon". FIBA. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  23. ^ Quede, Jonathan (October 22, 2017). "FIBA U18 Highlights: Issuf Sanon". Eurospects. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  24. ^ "FIBA U18 Division A – Top Prospects". EuroHopes. September 24, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2018.

External linksEdit