Melvin Ejim capped off his most successful season in professional basketball, leading Reyer Venezia Mestre to the Italian League Championship in just his second season with the Club. The victory was capped off with a 4-2 series win Tuesday night over the Dolomiti Energia Trento Club. Ejim was voted Finals MVP after scoring 15 points in the deciding game on 6/7 shooting including three 3-pointers, while also notching 5 rebounds and dishing out 2 assists.
Friends, family, and fans all over the world continue witnessing the growth of this young Canadian Baller. His versatility, intelligence, and overall work ethic have contributed to his success in the sport of basketball. Reyer Venezia Mestre also participated in the 2016-2017 inaugural season of the Basketball Champions League (BCL), finishing second in their division with a 9-5 record. Earlier this year, Ejim was named to the Basketball Champions League Star Line-Up, an award given by FIBA to the top 10 players of the BCL. Ejim and fellow Canadian Aaron Doornekamp were the two forwards on the Star Line-up Best Team (Top 5) after both players led their respective clubs to the Final 4 (Out of 52 total teams) in the inaugual BCL season.
Just last summer, Ejim showed signs of rapid improvement that put him on the radar for several NBA and NBA D-League clubs. *See previous article written by ATBNews writer Justin B Yee*
It will be interesting to see where the 26 year old’s basketball career goes from here. The NBA Gatorade League (formally known as the NBA Development League) is set for an expansion for the 2017-2018 season with 4 new teams. This is no easy or irrelevant league, as last NBA season saw a record high 44% of all NBA players having D-League experience, including 65% of the players in the 2016 Draft. On top of that, teams will soon be able to sign 2 “two-way” players to NBA contracts, allowing NBA teams to have these players spend up to 45 days at the NBA level while primarily playing in the G-League. As stated in the first article, Ejim has previous experience in both the NBA D-League and Summer League. His best game was on November 14, 2015 when he scored 21 points and notched 14 rebounds against the Westchester Knicks.
Should Ejim choose to return back home and continue his basketball career in North America, there would certainly be an opportunity for him to have an NBA Career. Players like Raptors’ Forward PJ Tucker have proved that it is still possible to make it to the NBA level, even after spending several years overseas. With the NBA becoming a significantly smaller and faster league, Ejim would have to show that he can defend both forward positions at the highest level. Much like Tucker, teams who have plenty of scorers moreso need that defensive toughness and ability to spread the floor.
If Ejim continues to play overseas for a third straight season, he will continue to live a dream that most young basketball players spend their entire youth trying to achieve. Ejim and his soon-to-be beautiful wife Sam have a son together and are happily enjoying their lives in Italy. Who wouldn’t enjoy a career of playing basketball, spending quality time with family, embracing the European scenery, and of course getting to eat some of the best food in the world? Regardless of what the future holds, it should go nowhere but up for the Iowa State legend.
On behalf of Canada and ATBNews, Congratulations to Melvin Ejim on a very successful season!