NEW YORK — Two in-state recruits turned top performances in New York into scholarship offers from Nebraska on Saturday night.
Nebraska has offered three in-state players in the past three months, with the three in different classes, high schools and AAU programs.
Williams and Arop both had older brothers who at one time received scholarship offers from Nebraska and ultimately decided to play elsewhere.
Arop’s offer comes four years after Nebraska received a commitment from his older brother Aguek. Aguek, who committed to the Huskers before his sophomore season, parted ways with NU during his senior year at Omaha South. In May, he committed to San Diego State after attending an Atlanta prep school for a year.
That will not have an effect on the younger Arop’s decision. Arop has done his own thing, choosing to attend Creighton Prep over Omaha South where his three older brothers played basketball.
“It is wonderful to get an offer from a school that once recruited my older brother,” Arop said. “I’ve worked hard these last few years and am blessed to get where I am right now. Aguek’s recruitment from Nebraska and mine are different. I just hope he does well at San Diego State and I’ll do my best with the school I choose.”
Williams’ brother Bryson signed to play football with Wisconsin in December. Bryson remained committed to the Badgers even after reaching an offer from Scott Frost earlier in December.
“Bryson’s decision will not affect my decision at all, not one bit,” said Williams, who plays AAU for the Iowa Barnstormers. “I am super excited that Nebraska offered me, and them being in my hometown and a Power Five school is something I have been working towards. They are ahead of the race right now.”
In the past two weeks, Akol Arop has taken his game to a new level. Last weekend in Council Bluffs he was tremendous at the River Cities Summer Tip Off. On Saturday in New York he scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds against Pittsburgh-based ITPS and top-100 center Oscar Tshiebwe. Nebraska offered him a scholarship later that day.
The 6-foot-5 Arop is best known for his athleticism and vertical jump but has clearly been working on his shooting. That has become obvious to college coaches on the AAU circuit. Arop was an All-Nebraska selection and has a no-step vertical jump of 36 inches.
In three games against high level competition in New York, Arop was tremendous. He averaged 19.6 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 69.4 percent (25 of 36) from the field and 6 of 10 from 3-point range.
“This was one of the best tournaments I’ve had against the best players I’ve ever played against,” Arop said. “I felt like I was at the top of my game but I could do better. I think the best improvement I had was my shooting and dribbling, which is something I have worked hard at.”
Arop and Williams also have offers from UNO.
Nebraska had already offered Bellevue West sophomore point guard Chucky Hepburn. The 6-1 Hepburn plays AAU for Omaha-based Team Factory.