“GoEmpire has done nothing less than excellent work during my six years with the agency. The continued growth year after year is proof that they put their guys first.”
- Rakeem Buckles
HAPOEL HAIFA (Israel)
Ht: 6'7" (201cm) Wt: 215lbs. (98kg) DOB: 11/15/1990
Hometown: Miami, Florida
College: Florida International
Years Pro: 6
Rakeem Buckles is a 6’7”, 215lb swingman entering his seventh professional season and second with Hapoel Haifa (Israel).
His career has taken him to many incredible countries around the world including France, Finland, Germany, Italy and Austria, in addition to Israel. Prior to his professional career, Rakeem spent two years at the University of Louisville before transferring to Florida International to finish his collegiate career.
Rakeem is a solid bodied, extremely athletic swingman who can defend both inside and outside. On the defensive end, Rakeem is an aggressive rebounder, solid shot disruptor and on the offensive end, Rakeem is a great long-distance shooter and strong in the post at scoring as well as drawing fouls.
This past season with Hapoel Haifa, Rakeem played in 22 games where he averaged 17.7 points per game with incredible efficiency and versatility, shooting 56% from inside the arc and 40% from outside the arc to go along with an 83.3 free throw percentage in 113 attempts at the foul line. He also grabbed 9.5 total rebounds per game that included more than two on the offensive end. Rakeem has started all but three professional games throughout his first 176 games and has averaged double digit scoring in each season to go along with averaging at least 7 rebounds per game in all but one season.
Rakeem’s first two seasons at Louisville saw him play 52 total games including 12 starts, 10 of those coming in his Sophomore year in which he played a 3 and D role, shooting 42% from three-point range during that season while adding almost 7 rebounds per game. While at Louisville, Rakeem played in two Big East Championship games at famous Madison Square Garden in 2011 and 2012, winning the tournament in 2012 and eventually appearing in the 2012 Final Four.
Rakeem has been recognized for his achievements throughout his professional career, being named Eurobasket.com All-Austrian League Honorable Mention (2015), Eurobasket.com All-Finish League Honorable Mention (2017) and Eurobasket.com All-Israeli National League Honorable Mention (2020). He was also named Player of the Week in France Pro B in 2018 (Round 26) as well as in the Israeli National League in 2020 (Round 7). Rakeem played in the Austrian Bundesliga A All-Star Game in 2015 and made the French Pro-B Semifinals in 2018 and the Israeli League Championship in 2020.
Rakeem, son of Ronald and Sabrina Buckles, was born in 1990 in Miami, Florida. He has one younger sister (Precyous Reese) and four older siblings (Marquetta Wright, Roderick Mitchell, Treco Conley and Ronald Buckles). He attended Monsignor Pace High School in Miami Gardens, Florida where he was named Class 4A Player of the Year in Florida as a Senior, helping Monsignor post a 24-8 overall record and the Class 4A regional finals. In his Sophomore and Junior years, Rakeem led Monsignor to back to back state championships. During his Junior year, Rakeem was named Third Team All-State from the Florida Sports Writers Association and named First-Team All-Dade County by the Miami Herald. Rakeem was rated number 36 overall recruit in the 2009 class by Rivals.com and the 11th overall forward.
Rakeem graduated from Florida International with a 3.2 Grade Point Average.