Josh Akognon could always shoot it. Dropped 23.9 ppg his senior season at Cal State Fullerton, over 10 more than his closest teammate. Shot 37% from three even though opposing defenses did nothing but try to stop him, and made a ridiculous 4.25 triples per game. But Akognon stands just 5’11”, and questions about his size and strength kept him out of the Association.
The Nigerian-American went overseas to ply his trade in hopes of earning a shot at the show. First it was Estonia. Then China. Then the D-League. Then back to China, where he dropped 29 a game last season. That led to a 10-day deal with the Mavs late last season, and eventually a contract through the end of the year. Now, he’s killing it in Vegas: 17.4 ppg in 26 minutes a night, good for eighth in the league.
We profile guys like Akognon (and before, Dwight Buycks) because they’re living proof that hard work pays off. In Akognon’s case, dedication to the game took him around the world and back. And when he got his shot, he knew what to do with it.