Six-foot-6 wing Nana Akenten of the Illinois Celtics and Bolingbrook High School was well established with double figures at the mid-major level but his recent play has also caught the attention of high major programs.
Akenten visited Nebraska in mid-June and earned his first high major scholarship offer from Coach Tim Miles and Akenten’s lead recruiter Jim Molinari. After his visit Nana said that “Nebraska is a great school and I am looking forward to knowing more about them. They have a lot to offer. The facilities and the staff were great”.
Nana’s offer list also includes Valpo, Northern Illinois, Illinois State, Western Michigan, Bradley, Buffalo, and a host of others. Since then Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Kansas State have watched Akenten and have been in contact. There are others as well.
“I've heard a lot from Richmond, UNLV, and SMU recently,” Nana told GI. “As far as Minnesota goes I haven't heard much from them personally, but they've contacted my coaches though.”
The Gophers have made initial contact with Nasa and have been in consistent conversation with his coaches of the Illinois Celtics since the July period opened two weeks ago. Coach Quintin Garrison talked to GI about Minnesota’s interest in Akenten.
“Minnesota Coach Ben Johnson has been in touch and has spoken a lot with Nana's high school coach at Bolingbrook. “They like his ability to shoot the ball and his high level athleticism. They will continue to track him and see if he's a fit for Minnesota basketball.”
Nana has averaged 15 points per game in three sessions of NY2LA play this year (7th in the league’s 32 teams) and he’s also among the league leader in steals.
“Nana is a 6-foot-6 guard with great athleticism and is a plus shooter with range beyond the three point line,” said Garrison. “He rebounds well for his position and is a steadily improving defensive player. He's also a great teammate and emerging leader.”
The small forward continues to grow and is looking forward to making progress towards the next level.
“The Open period has been a fun and huge learning experience for myself and my team,” Akenten said. “I've learned a lot about myself as a player, my weaknesses and strengths on the court.
“I think I've been a little inconsistent this month, but that's a part of the game and it's something I'm working on.”
As an emerging prospect Nana is the type of talent who could definitely land with a major conference program or be one of the top mid-major recruits in the Midwest.