Submitted to the Times
Head coach Jon Bishop has announced that Jamal Akakpo has signed a letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Saint Mary. Akakpo will join the Spires as a junior next season.
Akakpo, a 5'11 combo guard, is a transfer from Truman College where he played this past season averaging 14.5 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals per game as a sophomore.
"I'm very happy to get a player like Jamal. Guys like him in our basketball program help sustain the success we have had," Bishop said. "He's the type of guard that can really thrive here because of our style of play."
Akakpo joins a Saint Mary basketball program that captured the 2013 KCAC regular season championship while posting back-to-back 20-plus win seasons (25 wins in 2012 and 22 wins in 2013). The Spires have qualified for the NAIA D-II National Tournament two years in a row making the trip to Branson in 2012 and 2103.
Originally from Chicago, Akakpo graduated from perennial power Von Steuben High School before beginning his collegiate career.
While at Truman, he flourished in his sophomore season both on and off the court. He made 66 three-point shots, handed out 110 assists, and scored 20 points or more in eight different games.
"Jamal is a player that can play both guard positions even at his size," praised Bishop. "Having the ability to be effective both passing and scoring the ball is a big plus for our team when he is out on the court. Maybe the best part of his game is that he has a terrific knack of scoring in crunch time and that is something coaches just can't teach."