James Akinjo, a Salesian College Prep alum raised in North Richmond and Oakland, has been named the Big East Freshman of the Year after a standout first season with the Georgetown Hoyas.
The guard was selected by a vote of the league’s head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own players, according to the Big East.
“Akinjo has been the spark at point guard that has fueled Georgetown’s rise,” the league stated.
Along with averaging 13.4 points, he’s the first freshman since Notre Dame’s Tory Jackson (2006-7) to lead the Big East in assists, averaging 5.4 per game and 6 in league games. He also ranks first in assist/turnover ratio at 2.4 and is the top freshman behind the free throw line, making 82.8 percent of those shots.
Four times this season, he was the Big East’s Freshman of the Week. He had 20-plus point games four times this season, and had a career-high 11 assists against Creighton.
According to the Washington Post, Akinjo learned the news from teammates as they were stuck in traffic on the bus while en route to Manhattan from Brooklyn. The Hoyas (19-12) are the sixth seed in the Big East Tournament that began Wednesday. They play their first game in the tournament tonight, when they face third-seeded Seton Hall tonight at 6:30 p.m.
Akinjo told the Post he was thankful to have his team with him when he learned about the Freshman of the Year honor.
“It means a lot, after all the hard work I put in this year,” he said, according to the Post. “This was definitely one of my goals that I came here to achieve, and this puts me on the right path for everything. I feel like it just gets better from here. I just have to keep working hard.”