Basketball

Melvin Ejim: “Treat this ball like your girlfriend”

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Melvin Ejim’s uncle is full of awesome advice and suddenly, one of the top players in Iowa State history just became even more likable. 

Years ago, this uncle of Ejim’s (whose name we do not know) told him to treat the basketball like his girlfriend. The impressionable young Canadian at the time obviously listened. 

"You should know her. You should know how she works and how she feels," Ejim recently told The National, a public broadcasting channel in Canada. "I really took it to heart so when I’m shooting sometimes, I’ll be like, ‘Come on baby. Don’t do that to me. Why are you treating me this way?’"

Oh yeah. We dig, Mel. 

It is now easy to see how Ejim, who hopes to be selected in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, improved so much during his years at Iowa State.

"Often times I sleep with the basketball," Ejim said. "Our coaches used to tell us to do form shots in your bed while you are going to sleep. Work on your jump shots. Lay there and just shoot as many until your arms get tired."

How do you go from being a 23 percent 3-point shooter as a freshman to 35 percent as a senior? Apparently kids, you need to be going to sleep with a basketball in hand. That’s what the 2014 Big 12 Player of the Year did and undoubtedly, it worked. 

Fred Hoiberg’s secret has officially been leaked to the world. 

Click on the video below to see The National’s recent draft preview piece featuring Ejim. 

Chris Williams

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Chris was hired as Cyclone Fanatic’s publisher in the fall of 2009. He is Iowa State football's postgame show host on the Cyclone Radio Network and can be heard daily from 4-7 on Des Moines' top-rated sports station, 1460 KXnO. Williams, a 2007 graduate of Iowa State’s Greenlee School of Journalism, is the former publisher of the old CycloneNation.com (Scout.com). He has also written for the Des Moines Register, the Ames Tribune, CycloneReport.com and is the former sports director at KMA Radio. When Williams isn’t working, you can usually find him doing something outdoors with his wife Ashley, daughter Camryn, and Golden Retriever Dierks. He enjoys golfing, boating, country music, the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Braves and is passionate about any and all motor sports so finding Williams at a local dirt track is very common.