St. John's has signed four-star recruit Kassoum Yakwe, the latest recruit to join the Red Storm under head coach Chris Mullin.
Yakwe, a 6'7" forward originally in the class of 2016, will reclassify and enroll for the fall semester, the school announced. Yakwe, a native of Mali, attended Our Savior New American school in Centereach, N.Y. and chose nearby St. John's over Oregon. A talented shot-blocker and lanky athlete, Yakwe thrives on the defensive end and continues to develop his skill set offensively.
Rivals.com rated Yakwe the No. 57 recruit in the 2016 class. He was named he 2015 Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) Defensive Player of the Year, averaging 3.1 blocks and 6.3 rebounds in 15 games for the PSA Cardinals. He averaged 10 points and four rebounds per game last season at Our Savior New American.
“We are excited to welcome Kassoum to St. John’s University and our basketball program. He possesses tremendous athleticism, has good instincts and will be a defensive presence,” said Mullin in a statement. “Kassoum is humble and has an endearing personality which are important characteristics for team building. I look forward to working closely with him as he continues his basketball development.”
Already on the St. John's roster is Yakwe's former Our Savior New American teammate, junior Felix Balamou, who he told 247Sports was a factor in his recruitment. St. John's assistant coach Matt Abdelmassih led the pursuit of Yakwe.
Yakwe is the latest addition to a large St. John's 2015 recruiting class that includes four-star point guard Marcus LoVett, Jr., three-star guard Malik Ellison and three-star forward Yankuba Sima, Italian import Federico Mussini and three-star junior college transfer Darien Williams. The Red Storm also add graduate transfers Durand Johnson from Pittsburgh and Ron Mvouika from Missouri State. Tennessee transfer Tariq Owens will sit out a year and be eligible next season.
- Jeremy Woo