Akia Pruitt joined Ironi Kiryat Ata after the departure of Greg Whittington due to the outbreak of the war with Hamas. The 26-year old originally signed to play with Maccabi Netanya in the Leumit League this coming season but once the league decided not to play with any foreigners this coming season, Pruitt was able to make the jump to the first division.
The forward played his college ball at UNC-Pembroke where he scored 13.1 points and grabbed 8.3 boards in his senior season back in 2020. Since turning pro, Pruitt has played in Slovakia, Uruguay and Mexico before taking his talents to the Holy Land.
Just before Pruitt and Kiryat Ata open the 2023/24 season when they host Hapoel Haifa on Monday night at 9pm, let’s learn more about head coach Sharon Avrahmi’s new player as The Sports Rabbi was in touch with a number of his former teammates to find out what makes him tick.
Menas Stephens: Aside from basketball he’s one of the best humans I’ve played with.. loved playing with him, he comes in and does his job and never complain even once. Obviously as a player, he’s very talented and capable of impacting the game consistently on both ends of the court with his abilities. He’s definitely one of my favorite USA players to play with. Overall a very hard unselfish and composed guy who competes at a high level.
Giavonni Mack: Great player. Great athlete. Plays both ends, will compete. Should be in the NBA G-league if you ask me but I’m sure he’s doing great where he is!
Cam Hamilton: Akia can do a little bit of everything! Shoot, dribble, defend, athletic, just one of those players who will naturally play hard and want on your team in the 4th quarter!!
David Strother: Just a guy that puts winning first, someone who going to be a two way player, someone who going to put the work in to be great and help you win a lot of games! He’s an even better person off the court and friend also.
Jan Zorvan: First of all he is great teammate on and off the court, he was big part of our successful season when he was here. He is hard a working guy he competes all the time on a high level… I think he will help his new team for sure.
Juraj Lastic: Akia is a great player and also teammate both on and off the court. He plays on both ends of the floor with great energy and hustles. Off the floor, he was a great teammate who always helped me when needed.
Gaston Semiglia: He’s a really good player, he shoots 3 point shots a lot, he’s a teammate player, he attacks the basket with both hands. He’s a good player and he can do it all. He’s a good defender too because he has a great body and good legs, he dunks a lot of balls and receives alley-hoops, and he understands the plays too.
Mauro Zubiaurre: Very good player, very complete and versatile. He can play on both sides of the curt, he plays above the rim, he shoots three pointers, he can change direct screens and defend any position. A class player, but even better as a person. He is quiet, hard-working and a great companion. I hope one day to be able to share a team with him again!
Maccabi Netanya Teammates:
Ilay Dolinsky: Talented, a good defensive player and a great teammate.
Ariel Isaac: An excellent player and also an excellent person. It was really fun to be with him for the past few months. He is very smart with excellent shooting and an athlete, and I’m sure the team will enjoy him.
Emari Shavit: Akia is a great guy and I think he is completely at the level of the Premier League. Good shooting, athlete, can maintain several positions. Loves the country and wanted to stay here.
Uri Cohen: Akia is beyond everything an amazing person. On the court he is very versatile, he understands the game very well, is an excellent scorer and an athlete.
Eitan Drot: He has a huge characteristic and that is that he is a great athlete, can score, dribble and play in all positions, and it is quite certain that the Premier League is sewn up for him.
Boris Bogoslavsky: He is athletic with an excellent shot, dribbles well in relation to the position and keeps the ball excellently. He can help them a lot and adapt himself nicely to Coach Sharon Avrahami’s methods.
Ilay Hayun: An excellent player and a locker room player, excellent shooting and an excellent athlete. Kiryat Ata won with this signing.
Omer Poleg: First of all, he is an asset to any dressing room, very positive, fun to be around. A very versatile player. Can score at a high level, lead the ball if needed, and an excellent keeper. Kiryat Ata got an excellent boost, I’m sure he will help them the season.