One of the West Coast’s top point guards in the 2018 class is James Akinjo, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound four-star prospect from Richmond (Calif.) Salesian.
Scout’s 88th ranked prospect in his class, Akinjo has the vision, handle and defensive feel to keep rising in the rankings.
“I’m a good passer, I shoot the ball well and get my teammates the ball, I’m tough on defense and a good ball handler,” Akinjo said. “I’m working on my leadership; getting my teammates better and communicating.”
Akinjo is one of the youngest D-I prospects in his class nationally – he won’t turn 18 until almost December of his freshman year of college – which only gives further reason to believe in his upside.
Playing against much older competition for the Oakland Soldiers on the EYBL circuit this summer wasn’t too big of an issue for Akinjo, he says.
“I didn’t see it as a challenge,” Akinjo said. “I saw it as an advantage going against older guys. I like playing against them.”
Offers for Akinjo have come in from Texas A&M, San Jose State, Montana and San Francisco.
A relationship between Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy and Salesian coach Bill Mellis led to the Aggies’ offer.
“(Kennedy) watched me all summer and loves the way I play,” Akinjo said. “I’m doing my research on them. I know (Kennedy) because he coached together at Cal with my current coach.”
It’s early in Akinjo’s recruitment but he has an idea of what he’s looking for in a school.
“The relationship I have with the coach is important,” he said. “I don’t want to be too far from my family but I do want to branch out and do my own thing. I also want to come in and play right away.”