Florida basketball fills out coaching staff with Akeem Miskdeen

By Adam Silverstein
May 29, 2021
Florida basketball fills out coaching staff with Akeem Miskdeen

Image Credit: ESPN Images

Florida Gators basketball announced Saturday that Akeem Miskdeen has joined the program as an assistant coach, filling the lone remaining vacancy on head coach Mike White’s staff. Erik Pastrana was previously hired as an assistant coach on Monday.

Miskdeen comes to Florida after spending the last four years at FAU where he recently served as an assistant under ex-Gators assistant turned Owls head coach Dusty May. Prior to his time at FAU, Miskdeen worked as an assistant at Hampton (2015-16) and Kent State (2017).

“My family and I are ecstatic to join Coach White, his staff, the Gainesville community and Gator Nation,” Miskdeen, a Chicago native, said in a statement. “Being a part of Florida basketball is special, and I will take pride and work relentlessly to continue its success.”

Pastrana, who spent the last two seasons at Oklahoma State, is a native of Miami, Florida, who previously worked at FAU and FIU while also having extensive experience recruiting high school basketball players.

“I am beyond excited to join one of the elite programs in all of college basketball,” Pastrana said in a statement. “Having grown up in Florida, I am fully aware of the tradition and passion that comes with being a part of Florida Basketball. I don’t take this opportunity lightly and can’t wait to help continue the success this university and its fans deserve.

“I am so thankful for the past two years at Oklahoma State working alongside one of my best friends in Mike Boynton. It was going to take a special situation for me to leave Stillwater, and I found that in the University of Florida and Coach [Mike] White. Let’s get to work! Go Gators!”

Pastrana was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Oklahoma State. During his time there, the Cowboys signed a No. 4 recruiting class in 2020 headlined by Cade Cunningham, who may go No. 1 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft.

He began his career at Kansas State as a graduate assistant under Frank Martin. After getting some on-court experience, he went on to join FIU and took over as head coach at Daytona State College for a season before returning to the Sunshine State and going to FAU. He linked up with Boynton as an assistant for a three extremely successful seasons Stephen F. Austin before hit stint at Oklahoma State. At points during his tenure as a coach, he also led two well-known AAU programs in the Florida Rams and KC Run GMC.

Pastrana is known as a relentless worker who is an extremely well-connected, personable coach. His Division I, JUCO and AAU experience should serve the Gators extremely well given the increased importance of the transfer portal and continuously recruiting one’s own players in maintaining and building a college basketball roster.

Miskdeen and Pastrana fill the vacancies created by the departures of assistants Jorday Mincy and Darris Nichols this offseason. Both original hires by White who followed him from Louisiana Tech, they are now head coaches at Jacksonville and Radford, respectively.

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