Harlan standout signs with King University


Harlan Independent Schools

Harlan guard Jordan Akal, the school’s second all-time leading scorer, signed with King College on Wednesday in ceremonies at the school. Akal is pictured with his parents, Shawannah and Derrick, and brother, Jalen.


One of the all-time greats in a long and proud basketball tradition at Harlan High School, Jordan Akal sparked a resurgence of a program that had struggled in recent years before his arrival.
By the time he graduated in May, Akal led the Dragons to five straight appearances in the 13th Region Tournament and the school’s first district title since 2000 as a junior while earning all-state honors. He finished his HHS career with 2,629 points, second only to 1995 Mr. Basketball Charles Thomas in HHS and Harlan County history, and was selected as the 13th Region player of the year as a senior to earn a spot in the Kentucky All-Star tryouts and a position as a finalist for this year’s Mr. Basketball award.
He took the next step in his basketball career on Wednesday as he signed with King University. King is a Division II school in Bristol, Tenn., and one of 12 programs in Conference Carolinas. King finished the 2022 season with a 14-15 record overall and an 11-13 mark in league play.
Akal led Harlan to a 22-11 record in 2022 with an average of 25.2 points per game. The Dragons were the 52nd District runner-up and fell to South Laurel in the 13th Region Tournament. Harlan won a third straight All “A” Classic regional title and lost to Breathitt County on the state semifinals.
As a junior, Akal averaged 26.1 points per game as Harlan finished 17-6 and won the 52nd District title. He also earned all-state honors from the Courier Journal, the first Harlan player to achieve that honor since 2000.
In his sophomore season, Akal averaged 25.8 points for the 13-17 Green Dragons. Akal scored 532 points his freshman season as Harlan posted a 20-13 record. He also started for the Dragons as an eighth-grader.

Senior guard Jordan Akal, the second all-time leading scorer in Harlan High School history as a five-year starter, signed with King University to continue his basketball career. (Brendon Miller)