Canadian Enoch Boakye commits to Michigan State
You can always tell by the feet.
It’s a little trick George Aramide uses to scout young basketball players. He’ll go to middle school games and watch the boys to see who he thinks he can groom into future basketball stars. In sixth grade, there isn’t much to see in terms of skill, so Aramide looks for other signs.
For Canadian Enoch Boakye, it was his feet that were the giveaway.
Boakye can’t remember exactly just how big his feet were in sixth grade, but he said they were something like size 11 or 13. Those massive shoes, coupled with his 6-foot-2 frame, were enough for Aramide to start asking questions.
At first, Boakye’s mother Sandrah didn’t want him to pursue basketball at a higher level, according to Aramide. The family had watched as Boakye’s older brother had worked his way through the basketball world and decided they didn’t want to repeat that experience again.
But Aramide wouldn’t relent. He eventually convinced Boakye’s parents to trust him. And now, four years after Boakye first began taking basketball seriously alongside Aramide, the 6-foot-10, five-star Canadian prospect from George Harris Prep is committing to play collegiate basketball at Michigan State in 2022.
Boakye’s the path to Michigan State started long before he was ever on the Spartan’s radar. Aramide used to take his RunNDunk Academy to play AAU games in Michigan and they’d occasionally take a brief detour to Lansing for a Spartans game.
“It gave me lots of dreams,” Boakye said. “Being so young, just to watch that type of level of basketball, it’s just like I could be there one day.”
It took a little while for Michigan State to notice the boy who used to sit in their stands. Boakye was sort of a late bloomer in terms of basketball attention. It wasn’t until he played for Team Canada at the 2019 FIBA u16 tournament that Boakye began garnering significant collegiate attention. He scored 12 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in the finals against the United States and then everything changed, Aramide said.
“Literally, after that game that’s when I started getting all the calls,” Aramide said. “Kentucky called, Michigan State called, a bunch of big schools started to call.”
For Boakye, it was the moment he realized all his hard work was actually paying off.
Michigan State was one of the first schools to reach out to Boakye. The Spartans were relentless in their recruiting, sending head coach Tom Izzo north of the border repeatedly to meet with Boakye.
“That that really touched me,” Boakye said. “You see assistant coaches coming to watch kids play, but as the head coach, to come down and watch me, that meant a lot. I felt loved.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic prohibiting Boakye from taking official visits elsewhere, he decided he didn’t want to wait any longer.
Michigan State is beginning to form one of the top classes in 2022. Boakye joins 24/7’s top ranked player, Emoni Bates, in the class, and the two are expected to create a very scary tandem for Big 10 opponents.
“It reminds me of Zion [Williamson] and RJ [Barrett],” Aramide said. “That's how we see it, it’s a new newer version of those two.”
As for what exactly Boakye can provide to Michigan State, Canadian basketball scout Wesley Brown said he has all the physical makings of a top NBA draft pick.
“He’s a man-child,” Brown said. “It’s not a term I use often, but physically he’s long and athletic with good, strong hands and aggression. I don’t think he knows if he’s a 4 or a 5 yet, the school will need to define a role for him, but he has the coordination and athleticism to potentially do it all.”
Michigan State has a lengthy track record of working with bigs who are sort of in between positions. For Boakye, Jaren Jackson Jr. is one that comes to mind. He said Jackson was the player he used to idolize when he went to Michigan State games years ago.
Like Jackson, Boakye’s college career might not be very long, according to Aramide. If everything goes to plan, it won’t be long before Boakye will be playing in the NBA.
But there is one thing Boakye wants to do before he leaves Lansing.
“I truly believe what my coach said, we can bring home a national championship,” Boakye said.