Gauchos Strengthen Roster, Sign Akilah Jennings

Akilah Jennings (Photo by Joshua Polson)
Akilah Jennings (Photo by Joshua Polson)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. –  A little over a month removed from its return to the Big West championship game, UCSB has added to its roster with the signing of Sweden-born Akilah Jennings, head coach Bonnie Henrickson announced on Thursday. Jennings will be the newest member of a 2017 recruiting class that will now see five new Gauchos hit the court this fall.

Originally from Stockholm, Sweden, Jennings joins the Gauchos as a transfer from Foothill College in Los Altos, Calif. This past season, she helped lead Foothill to a 23-9 overall record and a perfect league record of 12-0. Averaging 16 points per game, Jennings was both her team's leading scorer and the second-leading scorer in the Coast-South division.

The sophomore also put up 4.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, connecting on efficient marks of .473 from the field and .411 from deep. Her efforts earned her First Team All-State honors, recognizing her as one of the top six players in northern California.

In her freshman year at Northern Colorado in 2015-16, Jennings appeared in 22 games, averaging nearly six minutes per game. She scored a personal-best five points in a game against Western State (Nov. 16, 2015) and shot an efficient .800 from the free throw line for the year.

Prior to that, Jennings attended Presentation High School in San Jose, Calif., where she was a two-time Second Team All-League recipient, earning team MVP honors in both her junior and senior seasons. She also played on EBX AAU team.

The addition of Jennings should help strengthen the Gauchos' roster following the departure of three seniors, including UCSB's fourth all-time leader in assists, Onome Jemerigbe.

Jennings will be joining a 2017 recruiting class that was given a No. 33 national ranking by Prospects Nation back in November. The class also includes Nina Radford (Grant HS, Ore.), Sarah Bates (Clovis West HS, Calif.), Danae Miller (Long Beach Polytechnic HS, Calif.) and Celine Quintino (Liberty HS, Nev.).