Alajiki is one of the most valuable late bloomers out of Europe. After moving from Ireland to England, he played for Beckley (WV) and had a breakout season which lead to multiple offers thanks to his combination of size, athleticism and skillset. This summer, he decided to move to St. Benedict's Prep (NJ) where he will play before joining Cal as part of their 2021 recruiting class.
Dermot Russell is the director of North Atlantic Basketball Academy (NABA) in Ireland:
We first identified Sam’s potential and ability when he flew to Ireland for a tryout at NABA. At the time, he was just another Irish kid attending a British academy and wanted to look at his options to come back home to Ireland. We immediately took him into our network and within weeks had several NCAA Division 1 schools interested in him, with one school, North Carolina A&T, offering him a full scholarship. He made the perfect fit for some of the NABA travel teams attending some of the international tournaments in Europe we compete in. He was able to improve as a player while showcasing his abilities and getting valuable international experience. For us, Sam was ready to play stateside and needed to do so as soon as possible to realise his full potential.
Sam Alijiki is without a doubt the most talented basketball player to come out of Ireland yet. He is a high major talent with NBA athleticism. Sam is a gentleman both on and off the floor and is a likeable lad who is confident in his abilities. His ambition is to go all the way and I believe he has the ability to do so.
2021 class Irish Sam Alajiki has announced his commitment to University of California. The 2002-born forward from Dundalk, Ireland, chose Cal over a final group that also included Stanford, Columbia and Oral Roberts.