New in Blue: Asante Monadjemi

Redshirt and JUCO (junior college). Throwing around those terms almost always confuses my understanding of years and eligibility.  Toss a skills academy in California and a high school in North Carolina into the mix and you can put that blender on purée.

Despite the complex timeline, I am sure that Asante Monadjemi committed to UNC-Asheville this past July.  Now, he’s a  walk-on for this season who will redshirt the following year, giving him more time to grow. 

Of course, “a little more time” seems to be a theme with Monadjemi.

In high school, Asante’s game appeared solid.  He averaged 9.2 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game over 30 games his junior year, but an injury, move, or some other outside force must have affected his senior year as his games played total dropped to 12, though he did average 11 points per game and 7.9 rebounds during that time.

Graduating from Carolina Friends High School in 2013, he trained at Crossover Academy, a skills school in Northern California, the same year.  However, Monadjemi didn’t start playing junior college basketball until the 2014-15 season.  And as mentioned, he didn’t come to UNCA until this year.

In 2012, labeled him athletic, able, and a good rebounder.   More to the point, in 2013, a scout noted him as capable, but needing time.

His season at Foothill College, his junior college, was successful as he caught the attention of a diverse group of Division III to Division I schools, though his numbers weren’t eye-catching. Based on the highlights, he plays a great pick and roll game.

Hopefully, Asante Monadjemi will be an important role player for UNC-Asheville.  The type of player who helps hold things together, providing leadership and experience when needed, a solid defensive play or rebound that lifts the team at the right time.  Only “a little more time” will tell.