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Keene State’s Men’s basketball team has been put on the map once again, but this time, it’s for a freshman player receiving Rookie of the Week.
According to Keeneowls.com, student-athletes from the Keene State College men’s basketball, swimming and diving and indoor track and field team were recipients of the weekly honor from the Little East Conference.
This is Edwin Ezedonmwen’s first Rookie of the Week award. Despite receiving this award for the first time and being injured early into the season, he’s very humble.
“It’s just rookie of the week, yeah, we beat a ranked team, but it’s all about our next game. That’s how our mentality is,” Ezedonmwen said.
Despite the award saying he received Rookie of the Week because of his points and his assists in both games, he believes his attitude and energy were also a big contribution.
Ezedonmwen was recruited by Head Coach Ryan Cain. Although Ezedonmwen had different offers from other schools, he knew Keene was the place for him.
On top of this, him and his teammate Miguel Prieto had previously won a championship at their prep school ,and they wanted to build on that success here.
Ezedonmwen went to a prep school in Bath, Maine called Hyde School.
Head Coach Ryan Cain said, “It’s great to see individual recognition for him, he played well enough to deserve this.”
Cain knew about Ezedonmwen for a while, “I knew that was a guy we were interested in, so we built a relationship with him and [were] lucky to go through the recruiting process with him to get him here.”
Ezedonmwen had no expectations coming into the team, but just did his best.
When it comes to having bad games or bad practices, Ezedonmwen doesn’t dwell on it, he would rather leave it in the past and focus on the future, he explained.
Cain said he has already seen growth from Ezedonmwen this season. “He has played more confidently and made better decisions and definitely can guard all different types of positions,” he said.
Cain believes Ezedonmwen is a player who will have a prominent role in the basketball team for the four next years of his career.
“He seems to be a bit more advanced than some guys at this stage in their careers, which is a testament to his family and high school,” Cain said.
When it comes to transitioning to college level academics and athletics there’s a process. “There’s always an adjustment no matter how good you are or how well coached you are in high school,” said Cain.
Since Ezedonmwen came from a prep school, he thinks his transition has been easier than expected.
“The transition has been easy. College is faster pace,” he said.
Cain said his height is important when playing on the court.
“He’s very versatile, he can do different things on the court on both ends, on offense obviously he’s a capable shooter but with his length and athleticism he’s a great athlete so he’s more than just a shooter, he’s pretty talented with the ball so as he gets more experienced. On our level, I’ll think he’ll become more and more confident with the basketball,” Cain said.
Ezedonmwen agrees with the coach when it comes to his confidence.
“Just keep my confidence up during the season, I’m going to have bad games but I just have to keep myself ready all the time,” he said.
Teammate Miguel Prieto did not answer before deadline.
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