The early signing period for 2017 basketball recruits began on Wednesday and the Huskers got good news as Nana Akenten signed his National Letter of Intent with Nebraska and is officially the newest Husker hooper.
Akenten is a 6-foot-6, 200-pound wing from Bolingbrook Illinois who ran with the Illinois Celtics/Hoopers on the AAU circuit. Akenten received 19 total offers according to VerbalCommits.com, with SMU and UNLV the most notable. Nebraska was Akenten’s only major conference offer, although schools like Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa did show interest. Akenten was initially unrated by the major recruiting services but elevated himself to 3-star status after committing to the Huskers.
“We’re excited about national signing day and Nana Akenten signing with us,” Tim Miles said. “I think he’s one of the more underrated kids I’ve ever recruited in my life. He’s got a great support system, great people around him. He’s just a fun kid to be around. He’s got a great jumper – it’s all wet, which is the way you like it – and he is a superb athlete. I really think we’re fortunate to have Nana commit and stick with it. His recruiting picked up late but Coach [Jim] Molinari did a great job and his coaches – Rob Brost and Quintin Garrison – felt like this was a great opportunity for him too. I think this is going to be one of those kids that kind of comes out of nowhere and will really make an impact.”
High School Accomplishments
Akenten was named special mention Class 3A/4A all-state selection as a junior after averaging 14.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 46 percent from the field as Bolingbrook made it to the Class 4A regional championship game.
As a sophomore, Akenten helped the Raiders to a 25-9 record and a third-place finish at the Class 4A State
Tournament, marking the school’s first-ever state tournament appearance.
Akenten may not be a highly-touted recruit with a ton of high-major offers, but he does have the profile of a player who can easily fit into any system and play a role. With his physical profile, Akenten should be able to play either wing spot and defend multiple positions.
Akenten’s Hudl page lists his vertical at 38.3 inches and his athleticism makes him a dynamic player in the open court. He shows the ability to both get to the cup with Euro-steps and other moves and play above the rim. However, his greatest strength is his jump shot. Akenten has a smooth stroke and can hit from deep as well as mid-range.
Miles and his staff has found great success recruiting in Illinois as Akenten will be the fourth player on the roster from the state when he joins the team next year, following in the footsteps of sophomores Glynn Watson Jr. and Ed Morrow Jr. as well as freshman Isaiah Roby.
The Huskers also seem to be prioritizing length and athleticism on the wing with Roby and Miami transfer James Palmer Jr., and Akenten fits that mold as well.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.