Nana Akenten Commits To Big Ten School

By Roy & Harv Schmidt

September 15, 2016

3:00 P.M. CST

As we have said before, there are some things in recruiting that you suspect and simply just know to where it reaches the point that you take them for granted.  That was certainly true with respect to Nana Akenten taking his first official visit this weekend.  You just knew that there was no way Akenten was going to leave Lincoln, NE without offering up a commitment.

While it didn't come about immediately upon the visit's conclusion, sure enough, our intuition turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the 6'6 2017 wing forward from Bolingbrook High School in Bolingbrook, IL has committed to the University of Nebraska and head coach Tim Miles.  Akenten announced his decision via Twitter and it was also confirmed by his high school coach Robert Brost.

Akenten chose the Huskers over offers from SMU, UNLV and Colorado State in addition to a slew of offers from mid-major programs.  However, considering how his recruitment progressed since the beginning of the summer, there are several reasons why there was never much doubt that Nebraska would ultimately be Akenten's choice.

To begin with, Miles and the Huskers staff were the first high major program to offer Akenten a scholarship, having done so after he visited the Nebraska campus for the first time this past June.  They were immediately drawn in by not only Akenten's athleticism, but his all-around skill set and realized that his game was highly suitable for play in the Big Ten.

With all of this in mind, the one who deserves a ton of credit for enabling Nebraska to get it done with Akenten is assistant coach Jim Molinari.  Simply put, Molinari stuck to Akenten like glue throughout the entire July Evaluation Period.  He watched practically every game Akenten played in with his Illinois Celtics/Hoopers travel team during that time, which included the Next Level Invitational in Mequon, WI, the NIKE Summer Jam in Mt. Pleasant, WI and the Hardwood Classic in Kansas City.  As a result of his hard-working efforts, Illinois Prep Bulls-eye voted Molinari their most visible assistant coach of the summer.

Akenten was the winner of our Ready For Prime Time Summer Award (http://ilprepbullseye.com/Summer_Awards.html) and sports tremendous upside.  It starts with his tremendous athleticism.  However, Akenten has also consistently proven that he can handle the ball in traffic as well as pull up and nail shots from 3-point territory.  He is quite active around the basket, where he is able to utilize his jumping ability and quickness off of his feet.  As a senior at Bolingbrook, Akenten will be part of a team that will sport as much overall depth and talent as anyone in Chicago's suburbs and could rank as a top ten team heading into next season.

Ironically, Akenten's game and recruitment have in many ways taken the same path as former Bolingbrook power forward Ben Moore, who is now starring at SMU.  As long as Akenten stays focused and continues to exhibit a strong work ethic, we believe he is capable of being just as good a college player.

Akenten is the first commitment in the 2017 class for Miles and the Huskers.  When he suits up for Nebraska beginning in the 2017-18 season, he will also become the fourth Illinois-based recruit on their roster, joining Ed Morrow (Chicago Simeon), Glynn Watson (Westchester St. Joseph) and Isaiah Roby (Dixon).

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