EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE women's basketball Head Coach Paula Buscher announced the addition to Alek Akuen (Paradise, Australia) for next season.
A 6-foot, 3-inch post player, Akuen joins the Cougars after playing two seasons at Independence (Kansas) Community College.
"We are excited to have Alek join our program," said Buscher. "She comes to us from a successful junior college program and at 6-3 will help strengthen our depth in the post position. She is a long athlete who runs the floor well and is a proven scorer and rebounder."
A second team All-Region 6 KJCAA performer, she was named to the All-Region 6 Tournament team after helping Independence to the Region 6 championship game.
Akuen led Independence in scoring and rebounding with 11.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. She shot 56.2 percent from the floor and hit 70.4 percent of her free throws. Listed as a forward, Akuen recorded 19 games last season of double-digit scoring and grabbed double-digit rebounds 12 times. She also recorded 94 blocks in two seasons with the Pirates.
"Alek was instrumental in solidifying our interior game in the Jayhawk Conference," said Independence Head Coach Leslie Crane. "Yes, she blocked many shots and was able to score with her soft touch. Where she made the biggest difference was defensively with the shots she changed and just by her mere presence in the lane. With her length, strength, quickness and speed, teams couldn't maintain an inside game against us."
Independence placed second in the KJCAA with a 26-7 record, including a 21-5 record in league play.
"We are so happy for Alek to further her education at SIUE and know she will be a great addition to a great women's basketball program," added Crane.