Sept. 16, 2009
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan men's basketball head coach John Beilein announced today (Wednesday, Sept. 16) that freshman walk-on guard Eso Akunne (Ann Arbor, Mich./Gabriel Richard HS) has been awarded a one-year scholarship for the upcoming 2009-10 season.
"Over the last two years, we have been able to reward a deserving few of our walk-on players with scholarship opportunities," said Beilein. "The chance to help players like C.J. Lee, David Merritt or Eric Puls has really been a great privilege. We were recently presented an opportunity to assist another deserving walk-on and have chosen to scholarship Eso Akunne for this academic year."
"I am very grateful to Coach Beilein, his staff and the University of Michigan Athletic Department for the decision to offer me this scholarship opportunity," said Akunne. "Coach talked to me about the past walk-ons, including C.J. Lee, David Merritt and Eric Puls. I realize the responsibility I have in accepting this scholarship offer, and I look forward to putting forth my best effort for the University of Michigan, on and off the court."
Akunne, who finished fifth in the State of Michigan Hal Schram Mr. Basketball award voting, was a four-year starter at nearby Father Gabriel Richard High School. He closed his high school career with a 79-20 record and averaged 17.0 points, 10.9 rebounds and 5.9 assists. The all-time leading scorer with 1,705 career points, he was part of four straight Catholic League titles and helped Gabriel Richard reach the Class B regional final in 2009 and the Class C semifinals in 2008. In 2009, he was an All-State first team selection by the Associated Press, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press as well as the Ann Arbor News Area Player of the Year.
With the preseason in full swing for the Wolverines, the Maize and Blue will tip off the 2009-10 season, as both the men's and women's basketball teams will host "Michigan Madness" on Friday, Oct. 16, the first day of practice allowed by the NCAA. The Wolverines play only one exhibition game against Wayne State (Friday, Nov. 6) before opening the regular season Friday, Nov. 14 against Northern Michigan.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423