Former Eastern Mountaineer Devaughn Akoon-Purcell in NBA Summer League
WILBURTON, OK (July 12, 2018) – Eastern Oklahoma State College has had a storied tradition of athletes that have gone on to play professional sports, and Devaughn Akoon-Purcell is adding his name to the list.
The former Mountaineer star averaged 20.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game during his time playing for Head Coach Scott Edgar from 2012-2014. Akoon-Purcell led the Mountaineers in field goals and was second in points per game. He also earned many honors, including All-Region II and All-Conference first teams and NJCAA All-American Honorable Mention.
Following a strong career at Illinois State, Akoon-Purcell traveled across the Atlantic to Denmark to play professionally for the Bakken Bears of the Danish Basketball League. In his two seasons overseas, he averaged 21.4 and 17.3 points per game, respectively, and earned Most Valuable Player honors.
This year, Akoon-Purcell returned to the United States for a shot in the NBA. He was selected for the Denver Nuggets’ Summer League Squad and has continued to impress. Nuggets Summer League coach Jordi Fernandez said he was really impressed by the energy the former Big Blue standout showed.
“He’s been really good for us,” Fernandez said in a postgame interview after Denver defeated Milwaukee 90-83. “You know, handling the second side and making plays. Defensively, he’s awesome.”
President of Basketball Operations for the Nuggets Tim Connelly also praised the Eastern alum during the ESPNU televised broadcast.
“He’s a live wire,” Connelly said. “Our scouts do a great job of finding guys all over the world. It’s really neat to see a guy like Akoon-Purcell be given an opportunity on this stage.”
Akoon-Purcell finished that game with 18 points, shooting 50 percent from the field. He added three boards, three steals, and three assists as well. After the game, he said that working hard defensively fuels his offense.
“I feel like me playing hard defense helps me on offense,” Akoon-Purcell said. “Just the energy is helping us on defense, and then that helps our offense.”
The Nuggets may or may not have a roster spot open for Akoon-Purcell depending on any more roster shuffling this offseason. But for the Eastern athlete, he’s going to give everything he has for the sport he loves.
“I haven’t accomplished anything yet,” he said. “I’m a winner. I mean, I want to do everything it takes to win.”