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Former Casa Grande star working out for NBA teams, but labor unrest could send him back to China

Sometimes dreams cause blindness. Dreams, if they are full of fantasy, rarely cut through the clouds. The dreamer is locked into a trance in which he cannot see, does not want to see. Josh Akognon could be but is not one of those dreamers. And how tempting it would be for Akognon to ignore reality, for he is as close as he's ever been to his NBA dream.

Both the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Hornets worked out Akognon in the past couple weeks, both telling him they really liked his game, both giving the former Casa Grande star the distinct impression they would invite him to their training camp. If they had one. The NBA lockout prevents that. So, Akognon could wait around for a season that may or may not come.

Or Akognon could continue being a rock star in China.

In April, Akognon finished a 39-game schedule with the DongGuan Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association. He averaged 29.2 points a game, made 55.6 percent of his field goals and had four games over 40 points, one of them 54 points. All those numbers created the following Mick Jagger experience.

"We were at the Chinese New Year parade," said Akognon of himself, his wife Ariana, and his son, Josiah, now 10 months, "and someone recognized me and wanted to take my picture."


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