“I just felt it was the best fit for me...the style of play - they play exactly how I play with fast tempo, lot of screens." Long said of his decision. "Coach Dooley connected with me on the visit. He was very open about life, not even about basketball. He's very serious on the court and a funny guy off the court."
The Mississauga, Ontario native is widely considered one of Canada's best players in the 2015 class and averaged 9.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists on the EYBL circuit with CIA Bounce this summer. Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Tyler Ennis, are just a few of the storied alums of the Toronto based AAU program.
"When I was nine or ten years old, very few people from Canada made it to the NBA," Long said. "As I grew older, there was Wiggins, Bennett, Ennis. I never thought they would
make it to the NBA because I just thought it was a whole other level. I
couldn't believe it. "
"When I see a bunch of those guys making it to the
pros, not even in the NBA, it really opens my eyes and shows me it's not
just a dream. It's a reality and you work hard and do the right things you might end up in the NBA or playing pros overseas," Long continued.
Verbal Commits ranks Long as a two-star prospect. He held an offer from Old Dominion with interest from other schools such as Purdue and George Washington.
"I'm a pass first point guard. I can score the ball when I
want, but I tend to get everyone else involved," Long said. "My strength is, believe it or
not, to get to the cup. I drive a lot. I
never had a jumper when I was younger so I was always driving. Now that I
developed a jumper, it opens up the lane for me."
Elijah developed his game playing at a young age with his brother and current Iowa State guard Naz Long. The junior averaged 7.1 ppg in 20 mpg last season as the Cyclones advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.
"We were never the best players when we were younger,"
Long said of he and his brother. "I just saw how hard he worked. It's a blessing for him and an eye opener for me: work hard
and you can achieve your goals."
The determined floor general becomes the second commitment of FGCU's 2015 class as small forward Rayjon Tucker gave his pledge to the Eagles in late September. Assistant coach Jamill Jones was the lead recruiter for both prospects.
With a slew of seniors graduating at the conclusion of this season, the Eagles have two remaining scholarship spots for the 2015-16 season. There will be a lot of minutes up for grabs next year as Long, and many other new faces in the program, seek to build on Dunk City's success.
"I'm definitely trying to put Florida Gulf Coast on the map with my teammates, even more so than it is now. Try to make it to the Sweet Sixteen and be the loudest team in the tournament," Long said of his goals in Fort Myers. "Basically, I just want to grow on the court and off the court...with my coaches and educationally."
Canadian PG Elijah Long Commits To FGCU
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