(Photo by Michigan State/Collegiate Images via Getty Images)
East Lansing, Michigan – Michigan State’s men’s basketball team has received signed National Letters of Intent from Jaden Akins (Farmington, Michigan/Ypsi Prep Academy), Pierre Brooks (Detroit/Frederick Douglass Academy) and Max Christie (Arlington Heights, Illinois./Rolling Meadows).
“In summing these three players up, you’ve got great student-athletes, you’ve got great size for their positions and people who can play both ends of the court,” Head Coach Tom Izzo said. “I think a really encouraging thing is they are guys that can shoot the ball, but I think they are guys that want to win and guys that want to be here. That, to me, is more valuable than anything. They’re all going to come in nationally ranked, they’re all going to come in knowing our program. All three of them come from great families. It’s going to be a family affair here at Michigan State and I’m happy to have them aboard.”
Jaden Akins (6-3, 160, Farmington, Mich./Ypsi Prep Academy)
Ranked among No. 70 overall in the country by 247 Sports, as well as No. 10 among point guards and the No. 2 ranked player in the state of Michigan … Averaged 23.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 assist and 2.0 blocks per game at Farmington High School … A third-team Detroit Free Press Division I All-State selection in 2020 … Finishing his high school years at Ypsi Prep Academy … His father, Jerome, played basketball at New Mexico State from 1978-81.
Izzo on Akins
“He’s definitely the most athletic of the three. He’s got phenomenal athletic ability, he has the ability to shoot it from long range, but he can get into the paint any time he wants it. He is maybe the best dunker of the group, he’s had some incredible highlights. He has a very quick first step. I think he’s going to be a good offensive player and a good defensive player. He too was a bit unappreciated in our state, but as last spring went on and this fall, he’s risen up in a lot of people’s minds.”
Pierre Brooks II (6-5 210, Detroit, Mich./Frederick Douglass Academy)
The first of the class to commit to Michigan State … A 6-5 shooting guard, Brooks averaged 23.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists as a junior at Detroit Frederick Douglass Academy … His father, Pierre Sr., is the coach at Frederick Douglass Academy … Scored at least 20 points in 17 games and had two games with at least 30 points … Earned Division 2 All-State honors from the Associated Press … Helped guide Frederick Douglass to the district final before the state tournament was canceled … The No. 1-ranked recruit in the state of Michigan by 247 Sports and ranked No. 68 nationally and No. 13 among shooting guards … A member of the Michigan High School Athletic Association Student Advisory Council.
Izzo on Brooks
“Everybody is your favorite, but Pierre is one of my favorites because he was the first to commit. He started the ball rolling. The other thing I really enjoy about Pierre is his dad’s a coach. Whenever you get a coach’s son, you get a guy who understands the game. At 6-5, he’s built like a linebacker. He has toughness. Maybe like all three of them, this kid has probably worked as hard as anyone I’ve known. He’s probably come the farthest. Everyone said he can’t do this or can’t do that and pretty soon, he’s playing better and better. I think Pierre Brooks has a chance to have a phenomenal career here because of the things we value: toughness, the ability to shoot the ball from long, long range, play multiple positions.”
Max Christie (G, 6-6, 190, Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows)
One of the top-rated players in the country and one of the top shooting guards … Ranked No. 12 in the ESPN Top-100 and the No. 3-ranked shooting guard … A Chicago-area native, Christie averaged 25.0 points and 11.0 rebounds at Rolling Meadows … MaxPreps Sophomore All-America third team (2019). … City/Suburban Hoops Report All-State first team (2019) … USA Today All-USA Illinois first team (2019) … Illinois All-State first team (2019) … MSL Conference Player of the Year and All-MSL East Conference (2019) … As a sophomore in 2018-19, led his team to a 15-11 record and the regional semifinals; averaging 25.5 ppg., 10.0 rpg. and 3.2 apg. … Scored 51 points in a single game … Produced 10 double-doubles and one triple-double … Christie averaged 16.5 points in 11 games for the Illinois Wolves in the Under Armour Association in 2019 … He shot 42.9% from 3-point range … Christie also won a gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2019 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, averaging 9.5 points and 3.3 rebounds … His father, Max Sr., played basketball at Wisconsin-Superior and graduated from Parkland College (Ill.), while his mother, Katrina, played basketball at Northwestern … Comes from the same high school as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garappolo.
Izzo on Christie
“At 6-6, Max can play the point, he can play the two, he can play the three, he can be a passer and distributor, he can be a scorer, he can be a rebounder. I think his length and his range make him a very valuable player. He is a very good athlete who I think is going to get better and better as he gets more and more into it. He’s a great facilitator. He’s got to continue to grow defensively like a Gary Harris or a Denzel Valentine. He kind of reminds of us a combination of those two guys, only he’s bigger than both of them.”
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