It was an honor to have Ibrahim Bunduka and Sahid Kargbo represent George Mason University at the 2017 NCAA tournament. They represented the institution, program, team and themselves with class. We ended up departing a day early to the tournament due to an impending storm headed to our area. In hindsight, it was a good decision as our originally scheduled flights were canceled. We had a good contingent of staff and fans to support the wrestlers at the event. After we arrived in St Louis, we were able to watch a television interview aired back in DC about the two athletes representing GMU at the NCAA tournament (http://wjla.com/sports/rising-stars/rising-stars-sahid-kargbo-ibrahim-bunduka).
Ibrahim Bunduka lost both of his matches. He struggled to make the necessary adjustments during his bouts in order to win. Nevertheless, he gained valuable experience and gave great effort. IB can bring back the knowledge gained to improve personally and to help his teammates. Even though it was tough to do, IB was interviewed shortly after his last NCAA bout (http://www.flowrestling.org/video/1135473-bunduka-puts-life-and-wrestling-in-perspective). I believe he did a good job. Sahid Kargbo finished 1-2. He lost by a decision in his first bout to the eventual runner-up in his weight class. He won his second bout by decision. In his final bout, he challenged his opponent in his opponent’s best position. Sahid almost won the position, he went for it, but was unable to come out on top. I was heartbroken for IB and Sahid, not to reach their goals.
I am ashamed to say I also had a pity party of my own after they lost. It is not about me and should be about the athletes and the program. Nevertheless, I spent the remainder of the tournament questioning myself and staying away from people. I do believe it is important to do self-review. We need to figure out how to consistently move the program forward. Thus, trying to figure out my mistakes and short comings is important. On the other hand, I should not feel sorry for myself and be a person that is negative to be around. I wasted a day and a half we could have gotten better by wallowing in self-pity. It was a tough weekend. I apologize for having a bad attitude and for not positively developing relationships during the weekend. I missed the opportunity to spend time with friends and meet new people.
As a college coach, there is always work to be done. Our staff has been working hard since we returned from the 2017 NCAA tournament, so we can prepare the team and program for the 2018 NCAA tournament. It is amazing how fast things seem to move.