Irvine Valley men's basketball coach Jerry Hernandez announced that sophomore post player Ephraim Ekanem has signed to play at Northern Arizona University next season.
"It is a great opportunity for Ephraim," Hernandez said. "He has really earned it by working hard and improving so much over the last two years."
The 6-7 Ekanem was a back-up during the 2009-10 season, but made huge strides for the Lasers this past year. He ended up being named honorable mention all-Orange Empire Conference after averaging 8.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game during the 2010-11 season.
He started all 31 of Irvine Valley’s games and helped the Lasers go 23-8 and make the Southern California Playoff Regional Finals. Ekanem also averaged 9.8 points and 8.3 rebounds and shot 59.3 percent during conference games.
He was second in the Orange Empire Conference in field goal percentage at 55.2 percent. Ekanem scored a season-high 23 points in Irvine Valley’s win at Orange Coast during conference and had 19 points in a win at Fullerton. He also grabbed a season-best 14 rebounds in an early-season win over Cuyamaca. In his career at IVC, averaged 5.0 points and 4.1 rebounds.
Ekanem is headed to a NAU program that finished with a record of 19-13 overall, reached the semifinals of the Big Sky Tournament and played in the post-season CIT Tournament where it lost to Santa Clara.
Ekanem, who prepped at Ontario Christian High, will be joining former Irvine Valley teammate Durrell Norman at Northern Arizona. Norman played in all 32 of the Lumberjacks' games this past season, starting 23 of them, and averaged 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds a game. To read even more about Ekanem's signing click here