One moment among many memorable experiences stood out for Miye Oni during his stay at the Nike Skills Academy last weekend.
“The coolest part of the camp was when Kobe Bryant came in on a helicopter and shared some of his knowledge of the game with us,” said Oni, who will begin his sophomore year at Yale at the end of the month.
Oni was one of only 21 college players invited to attend the prestigious camp, which also included more than 75 high school players. Grayson Allen, Trevon Duval and Marques Bolden, who will all play at Duke this season, and Michigan State’s Nick Ward and Jaren Jackson Jr. were among the other collegiate players in attendance. In addition, Stanley Johnson of the Detroit Pistons and Jordan Bell of the Golden State Warriors played on a team with Oni.
Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George and former NBA stars Rasheed Wallace, Gary Payton, Bruce Bowen, Robert Pack and Brian Shaw were also on hand.
“It was a great experience,” said Oni. “Being able to play with and against some of the top college and NBA players was very beneficial, and I believe I have already made great strides in my game since then.”
Oni more than held his own against the top competition.
“One college player who has stood out to NBA guys at the Nike Camp has been Yale sophomore Miye Oni. Guys love his ability to score.” ESPN’s Jeff Goodman wrote in a tweet.
Oni’s success shouldn’t come as a surprise. He is coming off an outstanding rookie season at Yale that saw him earn second team All-Ivy recognition after finishing tied for 10th in the league in scoring (12.9 ppg.), fifth in rebounding (6.3 rpg.), 10th in assists (2.7 per game), ninth in three-point field goal percentage, sixth in three-point field goals made (2.1 per game) and fifth in blocked shots (32).
His 61 three-pointers made tied for the fifth most in a season at Yale. He was the fourth highest scoring freshman in the league and a five-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week selection. In addition, he scored 20 or more points in a game four times, including the season-opening 98-90 win at Washington, and posted three double-doubles.
Oni will be returning to Yale shortly when he and his teammates will begin preparation for what should be a very exciting 2017-18 campaign. The Bulldogs will welcome back Makai Mason to the lineup. Mason, an Ivy League Player of the Year candidate, missed all of last season with an injury. His return and Oni’s success at the Nike Academy has many in college basketball circles talking about the Bulldogs.
“Don’t be surprised if @Yale_Basketball knocks off a Power 5 in their non-conference. Elite backcourt with Mason & Oni,” tweeted long-time college coach and current ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg.
Yale won’t have to wait long for that opportunity. The Bulldogs open the season at Creighton on Nov. 10 and then are at Wisconsin on Nov. 12. Both were in the NCAA Tournament a year ago.