Rhode Island Lands 6-8 Italian Wing Nicola Akele | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Saturday / January 28.
  • Rhode Island Lands 6-8 Italian Wing Nicola Akele

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    {0E0D0562-D381-40AE-8DD9-F4FE9025CB62}hs_bigRhode Island on Saturday landed a pledge from Nicola Akele, an athletic 6-foot-8, 195-pound wing from IMG Academy (FL) with a huge upside.

    Akele also had offers from George Mason and USF with interest from California, Michigan, Arizona and Miami, IMG coach Mike Kelly told SNY.tv.

    “I decided to pick URI because I really like Coach [Dan] Hurley and his staff,” Akele told SNY.tv. “I like that they have ambitious goals for the next season, to win the conference and go to the Big Dance. I really also like the component of the team”

    “He really liked the coaching staff and the campus at Rhode Island,” Kelly added. “I think it’s a great fit for Coach Hurley. I really believe with the individual instruction he’ll get the next few years he will become a great player at that level.”

    A strong defender who can also step out and hit the 3-pointer, Akele adds depth to Rhode Island going forward. The Rams could be the preseason No. 1 team in the A-10 next year with the return of E.C. Matthews and the potential addition of Memphis transfer Kuran Iverson (if he get a waiver).

    “I’m a guy that likes to work hard and get better,” Akele said. “I can bring great energy and great defense but I can also help on offense with my skills.”

    “He’s very long, athletic and skilled,” Kelly added of Akele. “He has a very high motor and high IQ. He has a high ceiling, he just needs to get stronger.”

    Akele is Rhode Island’s fourth 2015 commit, joining 6-4 shooting guard Christion Thompson, 6-8 power forward Leroy Butts and 6-8 power forward Andre Berry.



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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.