Akhile signing

The Pronghorns’ Bradley Akhile goes up for a layup during a 66-65 win over Eastern Wyoming College in the first round of Region IX Tournament playoffs.

Gillette College sophomore Bradley Akhile will be playing Division I basketball next year at the University of the Incarnate Word. The 6-foot-7 forward from Houston will return to his home state, as his commitment takes him to San Antonio, Texas.

“I would like to thank every coach that has helped me throughout my journey from AAU to high school and even junior college,” Akhile said in a Twitter post Monday.

Akhile, who averaged 11 points and four rebounds, was just one of two sophomores who returned this last season from the 2018-19 team.

“He’s just one of those guys that was a really great student athlete for our program,” Gillette College coach Shawn Neary said. “I wanted Brad to come in and be one of our sophomore leaders and help put our program back on the national level.

“I believed in him from Day One.”

During his time at Gillette College, the Pronghorns went 41-22 and made a big improvement this season to 26-6 and a Region IX Tournament semifinal berth.

Akhile’s strengths include outside shooting and the ability to guard four positions, which stems from his size and athleticism. Neary said Akhile not only got bigger and stronger during his two years, but also became a much better player.

The University of the Incarnate Word finished this season 9-22, including a loss to the University of Missouri. Akhile will join Southland Conference Freshman of the Year Keaston Willis.

He’ll be missed as a Pronghorn, but Neary said Akhile has “worked extremely hard to put himself in this position.”

“I’m just really happy for Brad and his family that he gets to continue his academic career and play D-1 basketball,” Neary said. “We’re going to miss him. He’s been a fixture for us these last two years.”

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