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St. John's Lands Huge Commitment From Yakwe

By Derrell Bouknight, 08/24/15, 6:30AM EDT


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After narrowing his list of potential destinations down to two last week, Our Savior New American four-star prospect Kassoum Yakwe has decided to remain in New York.
In a press release posted on their website Sunday evening, the St. John’s Red Storm confirmed the 6-foot-8 Bamako, Mali native’s signing. Following late interest from Indiana and Maryland and official visits to Oregon and St. John’s in recent weeks, talks of Yakwe possibly announcing a decision this weekend began to swirl. Yakwe is now Head Coach Chris Mullin’s ninth commitment since taking over the program in April. 
“We are excited to welcome Kassoum to St. John’s University and our basketball program,” Mullin stated in the press release. “He possesses tremendous athleticism, has good instincts and will be a defensive presence.” In addition, Coach Mullin acknowledged Yakwe’s personality off the court, calling him “humble” with an “endearing personality,” both elements he noted as “important characteristics for team building.” 
A consensus Top-100 recruit and the 2015 Nike EYBL Defensive Player of the Year, many, including Mullin, praise Yakwe’s defense, hustle, and energy. In 15 games played for the PSA Cardinals (AAU) this summer, he averaged 3.1 blocks and 6.3 rebounds. During the EYBL Peach Jam tournament in July, Yakwe averaged 9.2 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 5 blocks per game, earning All-Tournament Second Team Honors. While in high school at Our Savior New American School in Centereach, New York, he averaged 10 points and four rebounds per game.
Despite his commitment, questions regarding Yakwe’s eligibility still remain. As stated by the school, he is expected to enroll in St. John’s fall semester of classes, and reports indicate that he is trying to reclassify as soon as possible in order to play this season.
Yakwe will join incoming freshmen Malik Ellison, Marcus LoVett Jr., Darien Williams, Federico Mussini, Yankuba Sima, Durand Johnson, Tariq Owens, and Ron Mvouika as the newest members of the St. John’s men’s basketball program, one that is looking to build a new foundation of young talent in the wake of departures and new members of the coaching staff. The Jonnies also have several other prospects on their radar, including guards Rawle Alkins-who wants to visit each of the 11 schools remaining on his list-and Shamorie Ponds, along with Junior College prospect and standout Bashir Ahmed


x Derrell Bouknight

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