NEW YORK — Christianity isn’t the only faith that’s driven the Kansas State Wildcats to the Elite Eight.
The Kansas State men’s basketball team has been vocal about their faith in God, mostly through the religion of Christianity with the team mantra “Crazy Faith.” But the Wildcats have two players who practice Islam as well in Ish Massoud and Abayomi Iyiola.
The duo has been playing throughout the holy month of Ramadan, a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community and they both went to a mosque on Wednesday night to pray. The month usually requires Muslims to fast from dawn to sunset, but Massoud said he will fast after the season is over.
“Me and Bay Bay, we did go to the mosque and we prayed. We were there for like 2 hours,” Massoud said.
Massoud had a season-high 15 points against Michigan State in KSU’s overtime win in the Sweet Sixteen.
“It’s just praise to him and it shows, you know God’s gonna support you if you give him all the glory and all the praise and it just shows. Hopefully, I could inspire other Muslim athletes out there that is possible to do this.”
“I’m about guys embracing their faith and growing,” head coach Jerome Tang said.
“My faith teaches me that people will know that I truly believe what I believe if I love everyone, and I love Ish and I love Bay Bay. I want them to pursue their faith with a fervor, and I mean just run after it. And I’m thankful that they believe like that.”
Massoud often writes things on his shoes and in the game of Thursday night, he had an Arabic word that translates to “whatever god has planned” (mahma khatat allah) and “god willing” (‘iiradat qawia).
K-State hopes more blessings are to come when they play Saturday for a spot in the Final Four against No. 9-seed Florida Atlantic at 5:09 p.m. on TBS.