Akoi Akoi's journey leads him to college hoops at Augustana

Published: Jun. 8, 2020 at 11:07 PM CDT
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Akoi Akoi is still trying to figure out what kind of basketball player he is.

"You know, I don't know yet. I should probably ask more people about that!" Akoi says.

"A gem. He's untapped, if I can still use that coaching cliche. I just think the sky is the limit for Akoi.

Much of that journey starts with the one his parents Akair and Emmanuel took from the South Sudan, with Akoi their first child to be born in the United States after moving to Sioux Falls.

"I'm sure my mom had a peaceful life too. But I know my dad was a chef back in Eygpt so he did those kind of things. And I think he was in the civil war at the time too. So it must have been a little difficult. I'm sure that's one of the reasons we came. I think about it a lot actually, especially for my younger siblings too, it's really good living here." Akoi says.

A big part of that life became basketball since he has eight siblings, including a pair of sisters who play in college.

"It also gets annoying too I'd say! But yeah it gets competitive too. I remember when we used to live at my old house we'd always play in the driveway." Akoi says.

"He was a quiet leader but he had a side of him that was so competitive." Robey says.

After cracking the O'Gorman starting lineup as a sophmore, Akoi found another way to make noise.

"I remember my first time actually dunking on someone was against Pierre and I've never heard a gym so loud! I didn't know what to do! It's the best feeling. The gym is shaking!" Akoi says.

"He hammered one home in front of our home crowd and it was pretty impressive for a high school kid to be able to do that. We all just as a coaching staff just kind of shook our heads. He's still maturing into his body, believe it or not, in my opinion." Robey says.

It all came together during a senior season that saw him average 14 points and seven rebounds a game, setting the stage for Akoi to continue defining himself in college at Augustana.

"Honestly I love this city. I can't wait. I just know it'll be a good long run for me." Akoi says.

Where the Vikings look forward to seeing the answers he'll find.

Zach Borg, Dakota News Now Sports.