SASKATOON, Sask. – The University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s basketball team added another piece to the puzzle in their hunt for a fourth-consecutive playoff berth today, as they welcomed Nikita Akophjanov to the program for the 2019-20 season.
Akophjanov, who hails from Montrèal, QC, attended Lloydminster Comprehensive High School in the border city of Lloydminster, where he set the school’s career scoring record with 1652 points for the Barons.
The 6-6 forward was the team MVP in both 2017-18 and 2018-19, while being recognized as the Rookie of the Year in 2016-17. He also was honoured at the 2018 North Pole Hoops Showcase as the upperclassmen MVP.
Huskies head coach Barry Rawlyk is excited to welcome a player as talented as Akophjanov and believes continuing to add local talent to the Huskies is a sign of the calibre of program.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Nikita to our program. He is the premier high school basketball prospect in the province in the class of 2019, and in him we have continued the tradition of attracting the very best student-athletes the province has to offer to our program at the University of Saskatchewan,” said Rawlyk.
“Nikita possesses an extremely good skill-set for a high school player and has the physical attributes to develop into a top-tier university level player. We are extremely impressed with his high character, the strong family upbringing and support he has, and his focus on academic success,” said Rawlyk. “Nikita is a highly intelligent and disciplined young man and will undoubtedly achieve great success as a student-athlete at the University of Saskatchewan.”
For Akophjanov, joining a top-tier program like the Huskies, as well as becoming a student of the University of Saskatchewan this fall is an exciting proposition.
“I believe that this is a great opportunity for me to develop and succeed both as a student and athlete,” said Akophjanov. “After having the coaches give me a tour of the campus and their facility and sharing details about their basketball program, the University of Saskatchewan seems to have all the right tools I need to grow and reach my full potential.”
Akophjanov and the Huskies will hit the hardwood on Friday, Nov. 1 as they begin their 2019-20 Canada West campaign on the road against the Brandon Bobcats.
– T. Bennett
Information from the Saskatchewan Huskies contributed to this post.