Maduegbunam (left) picks John Wall’s brain between games.
Fresh off the plane from Philadephia, Akosa Maduegbunam (His friends call him Kosa for short) looked into the crisp Boston sky to see some extra 4th of July fireworks shoot off into the night. “I come home and they’re still celebrating a week later, it’s crazy” Kosa said. He doesn’t mind though, having spent the past few days with some under-the-radar talent means he has already seen plenty of post-4th of July fireworks.
The Reebok Breakout Challenge, is an annual event held for high school basketball players who may have missed the eye of scouts earlier in the year. NBA star John Wall made a name for himself at the Reebok Challenge in 2007 after previously being unranked by scouting services across the country raising the invitation only tournament’s credibility among college basketball circles. With potential recruiting sleepers and talented players in attendance the Reebok Challenge provided Kosa with plenty of opportunities to see how he measured up. Even though he has already declared his intentions to attend Penn State in 2012, talking to him this evening Kosa knows the Challenge provided him a chance to showcase his skills against talented players.
“I had good week, you really have to assert and be aggressive in these types of showcase events and I had that in mind to just go out and take care of business, I wasn’t there to make friends on the court, just there to play my game. First couple days I had a major transition from fitting in with scoring baskets to standing out by defending the ball, which a lot of guys would not do. Overall I was grateful for the opportunity and I took advantage of it” For Pat Chambers and his staff Kosa’s commitment to defense is part of the reason that he was given an offer to play in Happy Valley.
While Pat Chambers has said on multiple occasions that he intends to run a high energy offense, he has also made it clear that it won’t be at the cost of good defense. If Kosa is able to develop his athleticism on the offensive end of the court and continue to work on his already solid defense he could be a very important part of a small, but crucial 2012 recruiting class.