Tegra Izay is a 6’10” center who averaged 12 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks per game this season with Archbishop Carroll in Washington DC.
One message he had for fans, “It’s going to be special”
We caught up with Izay after his Saturday commitment…
PHR: With this Canadian explosion across the basketball landscape, what would you say the reason is for the sudden boom over the past decade?
Izay: There are a lot of good players in Canada. We all believe that we are as good as the people in the US. AAU really helps us get on the map and the coaches have great connections to put us in good schools in the US. The players who have come through the program also have a good reputation and give us hope to end up like them.
PHR: Coming out of Canada, how did you get linked up with Archbishop Carroll and what as the transition and learning process like for you?
Izay: My uncle, who I live with, knew Tim Fudd (coached Carroll my freshman year) very well. We got in contact and he made it happen for me. I stayed at Carroll after he stepped down because I was very familiar with the coaching staff and I believed that we could turn the program around for the better.
PHR: Congrats on your commitment to LaSalle! What was it about their program that really stood out for you? How are they looking to play you, what part of your skillset are they pushing to showcase?
Izay: They have a 6’10” transfer from Indiana coming in. They look to play us both at the same time and play inside/out with one another. They don’t really get stuck on position. It’s about being an overall basketball player who can do a little bit of everything, and do it well.
PHR: How are they looking to play you, what part of your skillset are they pushing to showcase?
Izay: They will look to rely on my shot-blocking ability and my rim running, heavily. Meanwhile emphasizing and working on my offensive game to be dominant on both ends.
PHR: Naturally the A10 is a great league, and Philly is near DC (and Archbishop Carroll), did these factors play a part in your decision?
Izay: Yes, I mean both of those are things that played a factor in my decision-making process. Being in Philly, it is close to both DC and Canada. The A1 is always tough. You have a guy like Toppin who is a projected top 3 pick in the draft and some of the other guys with talent and potential at my position make it definitely intriguing. It made me realize that with hard work my future could look similar.
PHR: For those who have not seen you play, how would you describe yourself?
Izay: A lot of people tell me I am a throwback post player. If I had to compare my game to someone, I would say I play like a Clint Capela type. I am definitely trying to be a complete player and do a little bit of everything on the floor.
PHR: To take the playstyle topic a bit further, who do you watch at the next level and try to take pieces from their games to add to yours?
Izay: Definitely look at guys with my size, like a Joel Embiid, but also guys like KD and Giannis. I love the way they handle the ball and the passion with which they play.
PHR: What would you say playing at Carroll helped you the most with (skill, speed of the game, work ethic, etc..)…In what aspect did most of your growth happen?
Izay: Carroll definitely taught me that no game is an easy game. Playing in the best conference in the country, everybody is going to give you their best shot every night. It also taught me how to be a leader and to communicate on the floor.
PHR: Any message you have for the LaSalle players and coaches?
Izay: Man, it’s going to be special. We are going to be an exciting team to watch in the years to come. The coaches already know what they are getting out of me, they recruited me, so not much to say on that end.