Beyond the game: Ashley Ezeh

By: 

Sports Reporter

Photo by: 

Although senior forward Ashley Ezeh has become an accomplished collegiate basketball player today, she did not set foot on the court until she was in middle school.

“I didn’t play any little league or anything,” Ezeh said. “Until my oldest brother Brian started playing for Prairie View A&M, and he was the star there, he got me interested.”

Ezeh’s brother was a guard at Prairie View and averaged 12 points, just under six rebounds and two assists in each game during his time there.

“I wouldn’t say he pushed me into the sport,” Ezeh said. “I just looked at him and wanted to fill his shoes, and it took off for me when I was in seventh grade and started playing AAU (Amateur Athletic Union).”

During her freshman year at Texas State, Ezeh scored double figures in four straight games and had six games of seven or more rebounds.

“She’s a very confident player when she has the basketball in her hands,” said Coach Zenarae Antoine. “I enjoy seeing that, just like shooters getting comfortable whether you make it or miss it. She wants the ball. She wants to be that player that can score and we can count on.”

Ezeh averages 6.7 rebounds for her career and led the team in rebounding last year. The Houston-native has averaged a career 15.2 points per game for the Bobcats.  

“It’s the will to win,” Ezeh said. “You can’t really do that without rebounding. It starts with the post group and the guards feed off us and work us down low. Winning keeps us motivated to go for those rebounds.   

One thing Antoine said Ezeh does well is reaching out to the younger players during the games and practice.

“She likes to mentor certain players,” Antoine said. “She likes to go to certain players and get them motivated for the game. She likes to teach. Part of her legacy isn’t just going to be Xs and Os, it’s going to be passing information on to other players and them being able to use that.”

Ezeh’s leadership shines through when the team is on and off the court, bringing what Antoine asks from her four-year veteran.

“She is a ball of energy out on the court,” said senior guard Kaylan Martin. “She’s always moving around trying to get the team energized. She’s very free spirited and makes sure we don’t take the game too seriously.”

This season Ezeh is averaging 14.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, helping the Bobcats to be 8–11 overall with a 5-3 record in conference, good for fourth in the Sun Belt.