Pioneer star Isiah Elliott’s ties to family run deep

 

Junior point guard Isiah Elliott comes from a family of great credentials when it comes to basketball.

“I would not be here without God, and of course my family, because at the end of the day basketball is just a game we grow to love,” Elliott said.

You normally don’t find incredible athletes with the mindset Elliott has either.

Junior point guard Isiah Elliott dribble drives around two Notre Dame College opponents during an 89-85 victory Nov. 15, 2012. Basketball has been a part of Elliott’s DNA from the beginning with both of his parents being wildly successful with the game in their own respect. (Photo courtesy of Andy Smith)

“My priorities are broken down into a simple phrase: GFBB.”

GFBB stands for God, Family, Books, Ball; it is a phrase Elliott has been raised on his whole life.

Elliott’s family has played a major role in his life in both aspects, as a basketball player and as a well-rounded person.

“My parents are pretty much the main reason why I am here at Malone and why I am playing basketball,” Elliott said. “Both of my parents were basketball players.

“My father is a well-known coach around Canton and my mother is in the Hall of Fame for both high school basketball and college basketball. So basketball has been with me since I could remember.”

Along with his family, being from Canton also had a major impact on his college decision.

“I wanted to stay home and play in front of my family, as well as continue to play on the same team as my cousin Che,” Elliott said.

Che Richardson, a junior guard for the Pioneers as well, spoke very strongly about the special relationship he and his cousin have.

“Isiah is my best friend, first cousin, pretty much my brother,” Richardson said.

Elliott is a family first type guy, who loves to enjoy life and a good laugh.

“What most people don’t know about Isiah is he has a great sense of humor,” Richardson said. “When it is just us two, we’re pretty much clowning all day. From jokes, to playing 2k, to just chilling, there is always something funny happening.”

Besides the fun Elliott has, he also plays a major role on the team as leader of the 11-10 (8-9 GLIAC) squad.

[pullquote]”Isiah is the most fun and exciting player I have ever coached,” Walker said. “He will be remembered as one of the best and most special players to ever come through here.”[/pullquote]

“When coach wants something done, he normally tells Isiah and he tells the team and we get to it,” Richardson said.

This sort of leadership also translates well to the game for Elliott’s teammates and inspires their collective performance.

“By him being the leader of our team, we easily feed off of him in a game,” Richardson said. “He is easily capable of taking over a game at any time, so when he turns up, we tend to turn up.”

Over Elliott’s years here as a Pioneer, he has not only grown as a player, but also as a person.

“Zeke (Elliott’s nickname) has become more vocal as a person in general,” Richardson said.

“In a sentence I would say, Zeke is a caring person, he isn’t all for himself, he cares about others as well.”

From his coach’s perspective, Elliott is one of the most humble athletes walking around Malone’s campus today.

“Isiah has earned respect from his peers, teammates, coaches, opponents and officials because he is a first class guy,” said head men’s basketball coach Tim Walker. “He is naturally a pretty humble kid.”

Great relationships come easily to people like Elliott due to his unselfishness and his character.

Junior guard Che Richardson elevates over the defender for the lay-up in the victory over Notre Dame College. Richardson, a cousin of Elliott’s, talked about how special a relationship the two have together. He described Elliott as his best friend and brother as well as cousin. (Photo courtesy of Andy Smith)

Elliott and Walker have more than a coach-to-player relationship as they have been able to build a solid friendship over the last two plus years.

“I think in many ways it’s one of the most special relationships I’ve had in coaching,” Walker said. “I trust Isiah as much as I have ever trusted anyone on the court. I’ve given him more responsibility than any other player ever.”

Great responsibility comes with a great athlete and player such as Elliott, who has proven his ability by being recognized time in and time out for his accomplishments.

Particularly this year, Elliott has won two back-to-back player of the week awards and three overall in the GLIAC conference.

Elliott has also reached a milestone of scoring 1000 points in his brief two and a half year career at Malone.

“Isiah is the most fun and exciting player I have ever coached,” Walker said. “He will be remembered as one of the best and most special players to ever come through here.”

Justin Davis is a sports writer for The Aviso AVW.

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