Varsity Kansas

Sunrise basketball player commits to Miami

Raphael Akpejiori hasn't played a basketball game for Sunrise Christian Academy, even though he's in his second year attending the school in Bel Aire.

But Akpejiori has made an oral commitment to play for Miami (Fla.). He can sign with the Hurricanes next month, when he starts the Sunrise season.

"He's a good defender, rebounder," Sunrise coach Kyle Lindsted said of Akpejiori, who is 6-foot-9, 230 pounds and a native of Nigeria. "He jumps, he runs, he has a quick first step. He's good from 15 feet on in."

Akpejiori came to the United States in the summer of 2008 to play in the Jordan Classic. He then played for the Baltimore Elite AAU team, but was injured, dislocating an ankle that required surgery.

He moved to the Wichita area to attend Sunrise, where he has been rehabilitating his ankle.

"He's just getting his strength back in his legs," Lindsted said. "He was laid up for half a year, so one leg is smaller than the other."

Akpejiori took recruiting visits to Miami, South Florida and New Orleans. He had at least 30 offers, Lindsted said, including from Missouri, Colorado, Texas A&M, Marquette and Central Florida.

He played AAU ball last summer.

"He hasn't played organized, team basketball," Lindsted said. "He's played all-star after all-star game, but not structured high school basketball. This (season) will be a big challenge for him. But he can block shots with the best of them."