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2021-2022 Player Preview: Yvonne Ejim

Now is the time for the next great Zag

NCAA Women’s Basketball-WCC Tournament-BYU vs Gonzaga Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re looking to invest, forget the newly public Dutch Bros., don’t empty your wallet on non-fungible tokens and stave off your inclinations to finally get in on this whole crypto thing. No, the best return on investment is without a doubt in the trajectory of sophomore forward Yvonne Ejim.

Ejim may not be a household name as of yet for passive fans, but that’s quickly about to change. After a studious freshman campaign that culminated in a 13 point and 9 rebound showing against BYU in the WCC championship game, Ejim is the biggest beneficiary of the graduation of seniors Jill Townshend and Jenn and LeAnne Wirth.

Ejim immediately slots in as the starting power forward and will be dynamic not only inside but also driving from the wing. The transition is a big ask for someone that averaged 6.5 minutes per game, but Ejim is coming off an incredible summer with fourth ranked Canada’s FIBA U19 team.

There she averaged 13.4 points and 9.4 rebounds and showcased an ability to attack at multiple levels of the offense. She finished fourth in rebounding for the entire tournament with 66 over 7 games. Her 47.4% field goal shooting was also the fifth highest of all players. She also averaged 1.3 blocks per game, which would be a nice addition to her defensive game (she had a total of 6 blocks her freshman year).

There will be plenty of playing time for Ejim with Townshend and the Wirths’ 74 minutes per game up for grabs. She will likely start and be asked to play on the wing and in the post. She may need to work on avoiding foul calls as she averaged 5.15 fouls per 40 minutes. That total is the highest average from last year, albeit with a small sample size.

Ejim could unlock a lot of things for coach Lisa Fortier’s team with more playing time. Her solid defensive abilities could translate to a lot of fast break looks and it’s fun to think what a lineup of her at power forward and Salenbien at the third guard position could mean for multi-faceted offensive sets.

If Ejim makes the strides in her game she’s capable of, we could be looking at the next great Zag and at the perfect time.