After redshirting the 2019-20 season after transferring to BU, sophomore forward Ogheneyole Akuwovo is ready to take to the court for the Binghamton men’s basketball team this season. The 6-foot-9-inch Nigerian-born player, known to his teammates by the nickname “Savior,” is expected make an impact in the frontcourt alongside senior forward Thomas Bruce.
Akuwovo started his basketball career at Howard University for the Bison, where he ranked second on the team in rebounding and blocks. He started in 32 of his 34 games played, highlighting the experience that he has already garnered in just one season as freshman. He came to Binghamton for its academic strength and its distance to home.
“I left Howard because my coach left … and I did not know if I would feel comfortable with the new coach that was coming in,” Akuwovo said. “I chose Binghamton because it is not far from home — it is only three hours away from home. It is a great school education-wise, the basketball program is nice and I like the coaches.”
Savior hopes to bring a positive, winning energy to his team and believes this Bearcat squad has the drive necessary to win this season.
“I would describe myself as an energy guy. [I] help my team by doing whatever it takes to win and try to do everything right,” Akuwovo said. “I put my body out there and try to put us in a position to win every night. I envision my role on the team as being a team player, a leader, a rebounder and as an every-night type of player, do whatever it takes.”
Akuwovo is known for his defensive prowess, and alongside Bruce, who led the team in blocks during the three seasons he played at Binghamton, the Bearcats feature a formidable duo at the rim to ward off guards and other big men in the paint.
“As a big, I need to be more vocal and keep all five people on the court on one page,” Akuwovo said. “I try to do everything right, make sure I rebound well, block shots and I cannot allow second shots.”
Akuwovo sat out this past season, as he was ineligible to play due to NCAA transfer rules. The dormant year was a chance for Akuwovo to become familiar with the Binghamton program and work on his physical strength, as well as his game.
“It was tough because that was the first time in my basketball career that I had to just sit out and watch other people play,” Akuwovo said. “I had to work on my body and my game, so it was beneficial because I think I improved my body, strength and my game, but it was really tough.”
With a year of practice under his belt, Akuwovo is ready to take the court and help the team win.
“My individual goals for this year is to be the best player I can be every night that I step on the floor,” Akuwovo said. “And with where the team is now and how we practice, I think we are in a really good position to win. We have everything we need — with the guys we have everybody is ready to play and to win. We can go small or we can go big, so I think we are in a very good position to win it all right now in this conference.”