UPEI Panthers men’s basketball team has added wing Michael Karimu from California Junior College (JUCO) to its team for the coming season.
In his sophomore year at College of the Desert, Karimu finished ninth in league scoring (15.2 points per game) and sixth in rebounding (6.1 rebounds per game). He shot 46 per cent from the floor and was the team’s captain.
“What drew me to P.E.I. was the people I have spoken to. They all seem so generous and helpful, and want to make sure my stay on P.E.I. is a time to remember,” said the six-foot-two Karimu, who is 21 years old and has three years of eligibility left. “I have heard nothing but great things about coach (Tim) Kendrick and his programs, and cannot wait to get started.”
Kendrick said Karimu brings plenty to the team including scoring, rebounding, energy and a team-first approach.
“I think for us he’s going to fill a few areas,” he said. “He can play and defend multiple spots, runs the court well, and finishes well around the rim.”
While he is primarily a two or three in the Panthers’ system, Kendrick said his rebounding skills and 38-inch vertical could enable the Panthers to go with only one big on the floor at times.
“We’re not real, real big, but we have good overall size,” said Kendrick, noting it could create tough matchups for the opposition. “We want to play tougher and more competitively for 48 minutes.”
Karimu, who will be enroling in the bachelor of arts program, is the latest of 10 new additions the team has already announced for the fall as the Panthers look to improve upon their third straight third-place finish in the Atlantic University Sport. They won their first playoff game last season in Kendrick’s three years at UPEI.
An Ontario point guard, who played at a prep school in the northeastern United States last year, was flying in to Charlottetown Monday night to work out for the Panthers tonight.
A look at the UPEI Panthers men’s basketball team roster for the 2014-15 season:
Milorad (Miki) Sedlarevic
* - Red shirt