Arizona Basketball

UA’s Akinjo gets waiver to play right away for Cats

Arizona men’s basketball picked up some good news on Tuesday afternoon. Junior guard James Akinjo has been granted a waiver by the NCAA and will be eligible to compete immediately for the Wildcats this coming season. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.

“First, I want to thank God and my family along with compliance for helping me with this long process,” Akinjo said in a statement from Arizona. “I want to thank my coaches and teammates for supporting me through this process. And finally, I want to thank the NCAA for giving me immediate eligibility for this season. I can’t wait to get out there with my teammates from the start. Bear Down!”

Akinjo, a native of Oakland, California, was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Year in the 2018-19 season while playing for Georgetown. He averaged 13.4 points and 5.2 assists and was named conference freshman of the week four times. He scored a career-high 25 points on two separate occasions and also handed out 11 assists against Creighton as a freshman.

Akinjo appeared in seven games for the Hoyas during the 2019-20 season before transferring to Arizona. He was not eligible to compete in games during the Spring 2020 semester due to NCAA transfer rules but was able to practice with the Wildcats.

James Akinjo (Photo courtesy University of Arizona Athletics)

“We are excited to have James eligible for our first game. This is an opportunity that I know he is eager to take advantage of both on the court and in the classroom,” head coach Sean Miller said. “He is an impact player and a fierce competitor, and his experience will be invaluable for us this year as we welcome so many young players to our program.”

While playing for Salesian College Prep, Akinjo was the San Francisco Chronicle Metro Player of the Year and the Bay Area News Group Player of the Year while averaging over 20 points and five assists per game as a senior. He was also named MVP of the 2017 Peach Jam after posting 18.7 points and 6.7 assists per game at the event.

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Arizona’s sports communications provided information for this story.

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