Though they come from different coasts, there’s some shades of Shabazz Napier to the game of diminutive guard James Akinjo. He’s a good shooter, lockdown defender, and excellent passer. He’s also got a knack for winning at all costs, having won MVP as he guided the Oakland Soldiers to the EYBL Peach Jam Championship this past summer. It was reminiscent of the way Napier led the Huskies to the 2014 title. Also like Napier, Akinjo will be a basketball player for the UConn Huskies.
The six-foot Richmond, California native pledged to the Huskies Monday afternoon after returning to the Golden State following an official visit to Storrs this past weekend. The Huskies were believed to be leading the race for 2018’s 75th ranked player (per ESPN) going into the weekend visit, and a productive experience seems to have fully convinced Akinjo to pull the trigger. Akinjo had scheduled other official visits to Cal and Indiana, though those will not be taking place. Heavy interest in the lead guard also came from Maryland, Iowa State, Arizona State, and others.
For the Huskies, this gets their 2018 class off to a tremendous start. With dynamite guard Jalen Adams likely going pro after this season, there is room for multiple backcourt recruits in the forthcoming group. UConn is expected to continue its pursuit of combo guards Jalen Carey (New Jersey) and Andrew Nembhard (Canada), though would very likely only have room for one of the pair. Other targets for the Huskies as we enter the crucial fall period will be big men Dimon Carrigan (Massachusetts) and Simi Shittu (Canada).
It’s been a much better month for the Huskies in September, as Akinjo effectively joins athletic wing Sidney Wilson (New York), a transfer from St. John’s, as the second member of the Huskies’ class. After a horrid season and a troubling summer on the recruiting front, it appears that UConn basketball is back on the upswing.
Photo Credit: www.d1circuit.com/roster_players/17820364