Bama Duo On The Rise

Bernard Morena

Every year there are players that fly under the radar and seem to be under recruited for one reason or another. Two young men that seem to fit that mold in 2011 are Willy Kouassi and Bernard Morena from Central Park Christian School in Birmingham, Alabama. Both are currently playing with Team Alabama on the AAU circuit. The duo took time to speak with DeaconSports about their recruitment.

Hard working, athletic and highly academic players seem to be harder to find each year. Two young players that epitomize the term "student athletes" are Willy Kouassi and Bernard Morena.

Kouassi is an athletic, shot blocking 6'10 center with a high motor and an ever improving low post game.

"What I do well right now is block shots, run the floor, and just play hard," said Kouassi. "I am working hard on my post moves right now as well."

Kouassi's running mate with Central Park Christian and Team Alabama is talented combo forward Bernard Morena. Morena is a long, athletic 6'8 players that is very versatile.

"AAU season is going very well for us so far," says Morena. "The team gets along well and we have very good chemistry."

Morena is currently concentrating on a lost art in today's game. "I am really working on my mid-range game right now. If you watch the top players, they all have a good mid-range game. I also take a lot of pride in my defense and playing hard on both ends of the court."

One thing that separates both Kouassi and Morena from others is not only their athletic ability, but their intelligence. Kouassi currently has a 3.7 GPA while Morena is a 4.0 student.

"Education is first," says Morena. "That is what is most important. Both of us want to play in the NBA someday but we know how important education is."

Kouassi and Morena, both originally form the Ivory Coast, plan to play college ball together. They are currently being recruited by Vanderbilt, UAB, Alabama, Wake Forest and others.

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