Written By: Carson Cook
Two NorCal players, freshman Marcus Bagley who attended Arizona State and junior James Akinjo who attended Arizona will test their luck in the upcoming 2021 NBA draft.
This past season at Arizona James Akinjo showed tremendous strides in his game. The 6’1 point guard from Oakland averaged 15.6 ppg, 5.4 apg, and shot 40.8% from deep. Akinjo’s ability not only to shoot the ball but to facilitate for the Wildcats gave him confidence to declare for the draft. Although not in every 2021 NBA mock draft Akinjo will have the opportunity to see his NBA interest while still being able to return to Arizona if need be. Akinjo’s shooting ability and facilitation is reminiscent of Malachi Flynn’s time at San Diego State. Akinjo’s 37.9% from the field will be hard to explain but his efficient shooting from deep may be just good enough to get him drafted this year.
During his time at Salesian, James earned 2x Tri-Rock MVP, Chronicle Metro Player of the Yea, Bay Area News Group Player of the Year, Cal Hi Sports Norcal Player of the Year,Preps 2 Preps NCS Player of the Year NorcalPreps Player of the Year USA Today & MaxPreps 1st Team Gatorade CA Player of the Year Nominee Mcdonalds All-American Nominee
Ranked 33rd in the nation by ESPN in high school Marcus Bagley (brother of NBA player Marvin Bagley) has declared for the 2021 NBA draft. One of the most highly touted players from the 2020 high school class Bagley attended Arizona State this past year. In his first season with the Sundevils Bagley had two injuries, a left calf strain and a left ankle injury. Despite his injuries Bagley showed flashes of greatness, averaging double digits scoring and grabbing 6.1 rebounds per game. The 6’8 small forward is taking his chances and has declared for the 2021 NBA draft saying, “There's so much about my game that I believe the basketball world hasn't seen.” Bagley has tremendous upside and has a NBA frame at just 19 years old. Bagley knows that his freshman year at Arizona State was not great, but based on potential he could be one of the biggest sleepers heading into the 2021 NBA draft.
Marcus led Sheldon HS to back to back California state open championship appearances and Sac Bee Co-Player of the year!