Ejim Training In Canadian Developmental Camp
AMES, Iowa – Iowa State senior Melvin Ejim, who led the Big 12 in rebounding and double-doubles last season, is one of 16 student-athletes training with Canada Basketball at the Bo Jackson Fitness Center located at Nike World Headquarters in Portland, Ore.
Ejim, a Toronto, Ontario native, and the other athletes are going through workouts and practices before traveling to China for an exhibition series. Following the training, a team will be selected to participate at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia from July 6-17.
“It’s a great opportunity to be playing with a bunch of guys that I know and guys that I’ve grown up playing with and against,” Ejim said. “So far, it’s been going really well. I’m enjoying it.”
The training program is being led by Canadian Senior Men’s National Team head coach and Portland Trail Blazers assistant Jay Triano.
This is the second summer in a row that Ejim competed internationally. Ejim, who has dual citizenship with Canada and Nigeria, trained with the Nigerian National Team last summer.
“I was thinking the other day that there probably aren’t many people that had the opportunity to represent more than one country in world tournaments,” Ejim said. “This is a pretty cool opportunity I’ve been given.”
The Canadian program takes a different approach than Ejim saw with the Nigerian team, something he hopes will help him as he prepares for his senior season at Iowa State.
“The Canadian program is really vested in making each individual player better,” Ejim said. “It’s been great seeing that interest in me as well as the other players. Already I can see it helping my game and I think it will continue to help me. Playing international basketball is different than the way I play basketball, so there are a lot of things that will help me continue to grow this next year.”
Ejim is looking to become the third Iowa State player to participate in the World University Games, joining Victor Alexander (1989) and Craig Brackins (2009), both of whom competed for the United States.