St. John’s F Kassoum Yakwe cleared by NCAA, eligible to play immediately

St. John's may have received its biggest win of the year on Wednesday, as Kassoum Yakwe was cleared by the NCAA.
Brad Penner/Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s freshman forward Kassoum Yakwe has been cleared by the NCAA and is eligible to play immediately, the school announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Yakwe attended Our Savior New American in Centreach,New York. That school has been under NCAA review. Kansas freshman Cheick Diallo, Yakwe’s high school teammate, was also cleared on Wednesday after waiting months for a ruling.

The 6-foot-8 Yakwe committed to St. John’s in late August and enrolled once he reclassified. There was a fear that Chris Mullin would go through his first season as head coach without his two top freshman recruits. Point guard Marcus LoVett Jr. was ruled a partial-qualifier on Nov. 11, allowing him to practice but not play this season.

Yakwe will provide an impact on the defensive end, playing alongside freshman cneter Yankuba Sima. Because Yakwe didn’t reclassify until August, he was able to play on the grassroots circuit this summer. In 15 appearances in the Nike EYBL with the PSA Cardinals, he averaged 3.1 blocks per game and earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. 

Yakwe can make his debut on Dec. 2 against Fordham.