DeSean Allen-Eikens received his first Division I scholarship offer when he was a freshman at Williston High School.
After more than 20 Division I offers piled up for the versatile 6-foot-6 athlete, Allen-Eikens never forgot about that first offer.
On Friday, Allen-Eikens accepted UND’s offer and committed to play basketball for the Fighting Hawks.
He plans to graduate high school in December. He’ll then join UND for the second semester and use a redshirt season.
“North Dakota is home,” Allen-Eikens said. “I had offers from Buffalo, Toledo, UNC-Greensboro, but I just really enjoyed my time with North Dakota. I took a visit, and I knew where I wanted to be.”
Allen-Eikens said he was impressed with UND’s new recruiting class, which featured some international talent, as well as the heavily recruited Jal Bijiek.
Allen-Eikens, who played at Williston from his eighth-grade year to his sophomore season, said he’s also friends with former Dickinson High standout Aanen Moody, a redshirt freshman with the Fighting Hawks.
After his sophomore season in Williston, Allen-Eikens went to Santa Monica High School in California.
He was a two-time North Dakota Class A all-state first-team pick. As a sophomore, he averaged 21.9 points and 11.9 rebounds for the Coyotes.
His father still lives in Williston.
“When I have down time, I go get some work in with him,” Allen-Eikens said. “Other than that, I stay with my trainer and coach in Louisville.”
Allen-Eikens has spent the past two summer playing for elite AAU programs on the Under Armour circuit -- Earl Watson Elite two years ago and George Hill’s team last summer.
“I saw UND’s move to the Summit and that’s a great league,” Allen-Eikens said. “I’m ready to go play and work hard.”
Allen-Eikens, who said he can play anywhere from the No. 1 position in an offense to No. 4, has known UND assistant Steve Grabowski since middle school.
“They’ve been there throughout the whole process,” he said.