Since taking over the Duquesne basketball program, Keith Dambrot has consistently placed a priority on recruiting the state of Michigan.
Some of that has to do with his history of recruiting there while at Akron and also the fact that his lead assistant, Charles Thomas, is from there and has great relationships with various high school coaches throughout the state.
Duquesne basketball on Pittsburgh Sports Now is sponsored by The Summit Academy: setting young men on the path to a better future.
On Tuesday, the Dukes threw their hat in the ring for a talented junior guard in the Wolverine State.
Class of 2021 three-star point guard Jaden Akins, from Farmington, Michigan, received an offer from Duquesne. Akins (6-foot-3, 160 pounds) also holds early offers from Michigan State, Xavier, Northwestern, Iowa, Missouri and Mississippi State.
After getting the news from the Dukes, Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke to Akins in order to find out more about him and his initial thoughts on Duquesne.
“Coach Thomas called me and put Coach Dambrot on the phone, who then offered me,” said Akins. “They told me that they like that I can play the 1 and the 2, they like that I’m versatile and the way that I can shoot the ball plus my play-making abilities. They told me that they’re going to recruit me very hard.”
“Coach Thomas has known me and has been recruiting me for about a year now. He hasn’t been allowed to talk to me since this summer but he’s known me for awhile. I wasn’t really surprised when they offered because Coach Dambrot watched me play at the NCAA Academy Camp and told me that he liked my game and that they planned on recruiting me.”
Although this wasn’t Akins first offer, he said he appreciates every program that shows this sort of interest in him.
“It’s really a blessing just to have coach believe in me that I can play at that level. I don’t take anything for granted and treat every offer as a blessing,” said Akins.
As far as the strengths of his game, Akins lists his ability as a play-maker, getting all his teammates involved and his ability to score at any level.
Akins said that he plans on learning more about Duquesne and although he holds an offer from in-state power Michigan State, his recruitment is far from over.
“Everything is wide open for me right now,” said Akins. “I’m just weighing all my options and am just looking for the opportunity that fits me best. My recruitment is completely wide open.”