East Carolina is looking for backcourt help, and there is a
high-scoring Canadian who would like to fill the bill.
Antwi Atuahene is throwing in points by the bushel,
averaging nearly 38 points and 13 assists in Toronto Father Henry Carr’s
11-0 start this season. That means the 6-3 guard is accounting for at least
64 points per game.
"You might not believe this," Henry Carr assistant coach Ro
Russell said, "but Antwi looks to pass first. He is definitely a point guard
— a point guard who obviously can score. But he’s a great passer and
Atuahene exploded for 48 points and added seven assists in
the season opening 89-87 win over North Albion. He connected on 18 of 26
field goal attempts, including six of nine three-point shots, and sank six
of nine free throws. He played 27 minutes.
"He wasn’t even supposed to play," Russell said. "He had a
bad ankle sprain. He was going to play a few minutes, but the adrenalin
started flowing and he was on fire."
Some big-name basketball schools courted Atuahene earlier.
Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, DePaul, Syracuse, Florida and Michigan
State all showed interest, but most of that bunch got what they wanted
during the November signing period.
Pitt received an official visit and is still in the picture.
But East Carolina, Georgia Tech and Fresno State have moved to the top of
Atuahene’s list. He has taken unofficial trips to DePaul, Syracuse and
"One of the coaches from Georgia Tech will come up in
December to see Antwi play," Russell said, "and we expect somebody from East
Carolina to be here soon. Richard Morgan (ECU assistant) saw him play during
The attention from the Pirates has been viewed favorably by
"I am very interested in East Carolina," Atuahene said. "I
plan on taking an official visit there. They have an up-and-coming team, and
I am hoping I can make a difference in the program.
"Coach Morgan told me I would have a good chance to play
right away. He didn’t promise me anything, but he said they need someone
like me. I see myself as more of a point guard than a two guard because I
can get the ball to others and make them better."
Father Henry Carr is ranked as the No. One 4-A team in
Canada, even though it is really a 3-A school in terms of size. One of
Atuahene’s teammates is 6-9 sophomore Theo Davis, who averaged 14 points, 12
rebounds and 11 blocked shots as a freshman. Duke, Florida, Michigan State,
Arizona, Texas, Illinois and Illinois are among schools already showing
Last year, Atuahene averaged 36.5 points and nine assists as
his team went 35-5. He scored 22 points per contest as a sophomore and 18 a
night his freshman season. His career highs are 56 points and 21 assists,
both as a junior.
Atuahene has had games of 37, 38, 39, 40 and 42 to go with
his 48-point performance this season. His low of 24 came in a blowout when
he played only 15 minutes.
"He is a one guard who can play two," said Russell, who
played point guard at NAIA Gordon College in the early 90s. "Antwi pushes
the ball up the court, he gets everybody involved, he posts up because he’s
very strong, he can hit the jumper, he moves without the ball and he goes to
the foul line.
"The other day, he had 30 points after three quarters and
didn’t shoot again. He concentrated on trying to get some baskets for our
reserves. They missed a lot of easy shots, and he still had 14 assists.
"He doesn’t have a score-first mentality and he always finds
the open man. Despite scoring all those points, he’s a true point guard. He
has long arms and good anticipation, and those things help make him a good
"At the NBA Developmental Camp during the summer, he
outplayed (Arizona-bound) Mustafa Shakur three times. Nobody knew who Antwi
was, but after that, a lot of people started to like him."
With ECU losing starting point guard Travis Holcomb-Faye to
graduation after this season, the Pirates and Atuahene may turn out to be
"He wants to go somewhere that he can play as a freshman,"
Russell said. "At Georgia Tech, he would have to play behind Jarrett Jack (a
freshman) for a year or two. East Carolina would be a good place for Antwi."