May 24, 2011



Providence, RI-Rhode Island College junior center Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, RI) is part of the All-Star Team, which is headed to Europe from May 21-30.


This past season, Akinrola was named First Team All-Little East, Second Team All-ECAC, the Little East Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and team MVP. He played in 28 games, starting all of them. Akinrola averaged 14.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.3 assists, and 0.4 steals per game. He turned in 22 double-digit scoring nights, seven games of 20 points or more and two double-doubles. Akinrola scored a season-high 26 points in a Nov. 30 win at Johnson and Wales.




His most significant performance came in the form of 23 points and a season-high 13 rebounds in RIC's victory over Keene State in a historic semifinal game of the 2011 Little East Tournament. In that game, Akinrola famously connected on “The Murray Center Miracle,” a buzzer-beating three-pointer off an intentionally-missed free throw to force the second overtime and eventual victory. The shot likely saved the season for the Anchormen, who would have otherwise needed a scarce at-large bid to make the NCAA Tournament. Akinrola was also named Little East Co-Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 30.


The inaugural All-Star Team will leave the United States on Saturday, May 21 and embark on a nine-day, two-city, four-game international tour. The nine-player team will visit the world-class cities of London, England and Paris, France before coming back to the States on May 30. The trip, co-sponsored and directed by Sport Tours International will be a great opportunity for Division III hoops players to showcase its talent on an international level.


“We know there is great basketball played on the D3 level,” said Sport Tours International president Lee Frederick. “We have been working with D3 basketball coaches for over 25 years and we know how good the players are. In an effort to showcase the players we knew working with the guys was a no-brainer. The all-stars get an experience of a lifetime, get to play great games and also showcase their skills internationally. The mission of Division III athletics fits perfectly with the mission of Sport Tours.”


The team, coached by long-time veteran head coach Bob Gillespie of Ripon College, features some of the best players from all over the country. The group will leave New York City on May 21 and will spend five days in London before taking the ferry across the English Channel to France. The team will bus to Paris and spend three days there before heading back to New York on the 30th. The team will play three games versus local club and semi-pro teams in London before playing one time in Paris.


“The games will be a great opportunity for the all-stars to play against guys at the international level,” Frederick said. “They will get the chance to talk to Euroleague scouts and coaches and will be able to make contacts overseas. This will be invaluable to the guys that want to try and continue playing after graduation.”


In addition to basketball, the group will tour historic and Royal London, take a boat trip on the River Thames, tour Wembley Stadium, attend Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and attend an English Premeir League Soccer match, among other highlights. In Paris the group will take a guided bus tour of the city, visit a U.S. Marine Cemetery, WWII Battleground and see the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and Champs-Elysees along with having plenty of free time to explore both cities.


Trip updates, photos and scores will be posted periodically on the Sport Tours International Facebook page at Please check that site for further updates and information.


 #     Name                        Hgt     Cl.    Position     Institution
1      Matt Addison          5-8       Jr.     Guard        Hardin-Simmons

5      Scott Gillespie         6-0       Sr.     Guard        Ripon

6      Derek Mitchell        6-5       Sr.     Forward    Ferrum

10    RJ Dixon                   6-0       Sr.     Guard        Catholic

12    Corey Connor          6-1       Sr.     Guard        Bridgewater State

21    Sam Herrick             6-11     Sr.     Forward    WIT

22    Jason Banzhaf          6-4       Sr.     Guard        Catholic

50    Mike Akinrola         6-6       Jr.     Forward    Rhode Island College

55    Mike McClary         6-5       Sr.     Center        Olivet

Head Coach:               Bob Gillespie (Ripon)

Assistant Coach:       Zach Pickleman (Hardin-Simmons)