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Basketball

Boys basketball: AP, IBCA name Akenten first-team all-state

Dwight's Fox first team, Joliet West's Kirk second team for IBCA

Bolingbrook's Nana Akenten takes a shot during the Raiders' 78-66 sectional championship victory over Joliet West. Akenten is a first-team all-state selection by both the Associated Press and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. (Photo by Eric Ginnard - eginnard@shawmedia.com)
Bolingbrook's Nana Akenten takes a shot during the Raiders' 78-66 sectional championship victory over Joliet West. Akenten is a first-team all-state selection by both the Associated Press and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. (Photo by Eric Ginnard - eginnard@shawmedia.com)

Nana Akenten, the 6-foot-6 senior forward who led Bolingbrook to the Class 4A boys state basketball finals at Carver Arena in Peoria, is a first-team all-state selection by both the Associated Press and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.

Akenten, who will play his college basketball in the Big Ten at Nebraska, was named to the AP's Class 4A first team.

The AP names two teams and an honorable mention list. The Joliet area had no second-team picks in 4A. Joliet West's Teyvion Kirk, Bolingbrook's Malik Binns and Lincoln-Way West's Marco Pettinato all were honorable mention.

The area had nobody named to AP's Class 3A team, but in 2A, Dwight senior forward Justin Fox was named to the second team.

The IBCA, meanwhile, selects Class 3A/4A all-staters, along with a 1A/2A team, and has four teams and an honorable-mention list in both.

In 3A/4A, Akenten was the area's only first-team selection. Kirk is on the second team.

"Nana is an all-state type player who is averaging 15 [points] and could easily be averaging 25," Bolingbrook coach Rob Brost said of Akenten. "The best part about him is he is a good teammate who really cares about the other guys on our team."

Joliet West's Trevian Bell and Bolingbrook's Kaleb Thornton were afforded third-team recognition. Joliet Central's Jose Gruffs, Pettinato and Lemont's PJ Pipes are on the fourth team. Binns and Lincoln-Way East junior Sam Shafer were honorable-mention choices.

Fox is the area's only first-team choice in 1A/2A. Honorable-mention selections were Fox's teammate at Dwight, Blake Graham, along with Peotone's Jack Halverson and Gardner-South Wilmington's Austin Kavanaugh.

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