Henricksen: All things looking up for Kani Acree

The City/Suburban Hoops Report churns out its share of “under-recruited” and “overlooked prospect” stories during the spring and summer months. Among the names repeatedly listed are Zion Griffin of Hinsdale South, Xavier Pinson, who has transferred from St. Patrick to Simeon, and a few others.

Then there are the players that are still missed. Count Kani Acree of Carbondale among them, a player the City/Suburban Hoops Report missed on early in the evaluation process.

“I’ve always felt I’ve been underrated,” says Acree, a versatile 6-5 forward who has shown an ability to score at all three levels on the floor. “I knew I had to go out and prove myself. The confidence level has improved and my ability to shoot the basketball has improved.”

After a solid junior year and club basketball season playing with Team RWA, the same team that features breakout senior George Conditt of Chicago Corliss, Acree is generating a whole lot of interest while playing in Las Vegas this week. His improved game has elevated his ranking and status.

There were a host of low-major Division I programs who jumped on Acree in the spring. Mid-major programs have followed suit in July.

Among the schools who have offered, Acree says he’s “hearing the most from Ball State, UTEP, UIC, Northern Illinois, Missouri State and Stetson.” He says he has an official visit set up with UTEP for the weekend of Sept. 15-17 and will visit Stetson officially sometime in August.

Who knows where his recruiting will go when schools realize any academic questions they might have aren’t as murky as they appear.

Acree has battled back nicely –– on the floor and in the classroom –– from an illness during his freshman year which set him back academically.

As he started experiencing stomach problems during his freshman year, doctors determined Acree had chrone’s disease. Acree was in and out of the hospital and missed nearly two months of school as he battled the illness.

“I missed a lot of school and that really set me back,” says Acree of his grade-point average. “I’ve been working hard since on my grades and studying and preparing for the ACT.”

This wasn’t a case of a student-athlete slacking off and digging a deep hole for himself academically. This was a young high school student dealing with physical issues that were out of his control. As a result, there is a plan in place to help offset those early struggles.

Acree will have an opportunity to take “early-bird classes” this school year to replace the classes he missed as a freshman. Those freshmen grades will be replaced while the grade-point average will rise.

With the academics being taken care, the chrone’s under control and his game continuing to make strides, Acree will start sorting out his recruiting when July comes to an end.

“I’m just looking to build a relationship with the coaching staff and find a place to call home,” Acree says of what he’s most looking for in the recruiting process.

Follow Joe Henricksen and the City/Suburban Hoops Report on Twitter @joehoopsreport

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *