University of Akron Point Guard, Alex Abreu is only 5'9. Two summers ago he was a 17 year old kid trying to make the 19U National Team that had Raymond Cintron, Mike Rosario, Carlos Lopez and Jio Fontan. On one of the first days of tryouts, we watched Abreu pin 6'10 Carlos Lopez's (now attending UNLV) lay up attempt against the glass and that was only one of many things he did that practice which made everyone in the gym ask, "who is that little guy?"
Fast forward to almost a year ago. Alex was attending a prep/post graduate academy that happened to play some of the top ranked teams which were loaded with big time D1 guards. Abreu destroyed every guard who had a name or reputation including Louisville signee Russ Smith who Abreu torched for 27 points and 5 assists. Once again people in the gym asked, "who is that little guy?"
Abreu started getting interest from big schools including Rutgers, Nebraska and Utah but decided to attend Akron. Akron's Head Coach happened to be Lebron James High School Coach and a friend of Alex's mentor and family friend. Alex visited the school last spring and knew right away that Akron was home.
Abreu said about his visit and experience at Akron, " I knew right away it was home for me. My mom and dad really liked "Coach D" and the way the assistant coaches and team were like a family. I spent the summer out here getting focused, taking some classes and working out.
I could have been relaxing last summer in Puerto Rico but I knew I had work to do.
I got in the gym, got stronger and ran, ran and ran some more. That is clearly the biggest transition from High School to College. I thought I was in shape before I got here and now the season has started I am still not where I need to be but I am getting there."
That commitment showed the coaching staff that Alex was mature beyond his years and provided his performance on the court was consistent with his past performances he may have a chance to get major minutes.
Akron got blown out on Sunday against Temple but Abreu showed signs that he was ready to crack the starting line up with a career high of 11 points. We spoke to him as he was landing in Minnesota. "I'm excited about my progress and I'm officially in the starting line up. Minnesota is a great team with some really good guards. I'm excited and ready to play even though it is -5 degrees out here!"
Abreu's attention to detail and drive will ensure his success no matter what he does or where he does it. This is going to be a breakout game for Alex given the brighter the lights, the bigger he plays.
Minnesota vs Akron, Wednesday!