Boys

Chris Egi: Street Smart

“I always told all the schools recruiting me that I was going to pick the school who I believed to have the best of basketball and academics,”

To know Chris Egi is to know the meaning of hard work and determination. To completely understand this 6’9, 210 lbs.17-year old giant is to understand the balance between humbleness, education and basketball.

“I always told all the schools recruiting me that I was going to pick the school who I believed to have the best of basketball and academics,” openly admits Egi as he lists the top academic schools in America. Harvard, Stanford, California-Berkeley, Vanderbilt, Washington, Florida, they all desired his raw physicality, willingness to learn and Canadian politeness.

Fortunately for Harvard, Egi found that rare balance in Head Coach Tom Amaker’s rising basketball program, and their renowned elite academic status by committing to the Crimson Tide in late October. Amaker has transformed the Ivy school from college basketball’s laughing-stock to a Top 25 team in the Nation since his arrival at Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2007.

With the recruiting stress behind him and his decision to leave Canada also in the rearview, Egi once again finds himself in the best possible situation after having to make the tough, but necessary decision to join Montverde Academy. The private boarding school in Florida is slowly gaining reputation as the “Harvard of prep schools,” said Head coach Kevin Boyle. It’s national program stresses academics just as hard as their recent success on the court.

After winning the 2013 National High School Championship, an accomplishment that pushed Montverde to the top ranks also became the deciding factor for Egi who now looks forward to being a part of the winning tradition. “Personally, I really want to win the national championship. I just want to have a great season and learn a lot from playing against high level competition day-in and day-out. Hopefully, if we work hard enough, we play well enough, and everything falls into place, we will be able to get that championship.”

Characterized as hard working, Egi took no breaks this summer as he represented Canada once again on the international stage as the youngest member of the U19 Junior national team. All the effort paid off when they finished sixth at the World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic.

“I want to play for the National team as long as I can. The biggest thing would be for me to go to the Olympics. That would be a great opportunity. I would love to do that.”

Despite his age and a roster filled with older budding Canadian stars, Egi made the team over some more established prospects, he also earned minutes by showing that he indeed belongs with Canada’s next wave of talent. He scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds against Iran, and had his best showing of the tourney with a 14 point, 8 rebound game in 32 minutes against China.

“This summer, I learned a lot just playing with older competition, people that are more physically developed than me. It forced me to play with a little bit more savvy and not just my athleticism.”

Focused on expanding his game beyond the punishing inside play, Egi has been busy in the gym working on his jump shot and his face-up game.

“That the biggest thing for me going forward, is adding that face-up aspect to my game, because I’m a little bit undersized for the forward spot so adding that will really help.”

For now Egi focuses on staying humble and improving his stock in America, while continuing to represent Canada in the years ahead. “I want to play for the National team as long as I can. The biggest thing would be for me to go to the Olympics. That would be a great opportunity. I would love to do that.”

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