For the second time this off-season, Mike Raimbault has signed one of the top players in Manitoba to his recruiting class.

The head coach of the Winnipeg Wesmen men’s basketball team announced Thursday that 6-foot-4 forward Elijah Mensah of Miles Macdonell Collegiate has committed to the program as the second member of the 2022 recruiting class.

Mensah joins John Taylor’s Ryan Luke in this year’s class.

Mensah will enroll in Kinesiology and have five years of eligibility.

“As the years got on, after the Grade 10 season and through the pandemic and going on to this year, I started to realize I could really go somewhere with basketball and take it to the next level,” Mensah said.

“… Just sitting down and talking with (Raimbault) and planning what the coming few years could look like and what my role could be persuaded me into taking (the Wesmen).”

Mensah was the No. 4-ranked player in the annual Winnipeg Free Press coaches’ poll in his Grade 12 year with head coach Jeff Shaddock’s Buckeyes.

“Elijah is an exceptional athlete who is able to play inside and out,” Shaddock said. “His first thought is always what is best for the team and he enthusiastically took on whatever offensive or defensive role he was assigned this season. Throughout the season, Elijah grew into a vocal leader who was liked and respected by his teammates — when he spoke, they listened. Elijah is quiet, unassuming, and extremely coachable. Elijah is the person every coach should be lucky enough to work with: someone whose character is outstanding, and someone who is skilled and physically gifted.”

Mensah averaged 25.3 points, 11 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game while shooting 49.5 per cent from the field. He had game-highs of 21 rebounds and 41 points.

“We are excited about adding Elijah and can’t wait to see how he can develop as he spends focused time in the gym and with our guys,” Raimbault said. “He has a lot of potential to go along with his size, athleticism, and ability to shoot the ball from range.”

Mensah said his goal this past season — and into the off-season — was to continue to improve his shot and expand his range.

“I’ve been putting in a lot of work on my shooting,” he said. “I feel like my rebounding is good, but as the years go on, I think I can progress even further.”

Mensah, who was named a Basketball Manitoba graduating all-star this season, started playing in Grade 7 and since then has played club for Winnipeg Hot Shots, Triumph 204 and Piece Basketball.

He was also a member of the 2021 U17 provincial program alongside Luke.

“I think (the Wesmen will) get a hard-working player who’s willing to listen and put in the work,” Mensah said. “I’d say I’m a very versatile player and I’ve developed good leadership, too.

“…I’m pretty excited because, now that the process is done, I can look towards the next chapter and just get ready for the season. The time’s going to fly by, but I just gotta enjoy the moment and prepare myself.”


Subscribe to Email Newsletter
Share this article to...