After one season where he averaged a team-leading 17 points per game, junior Mike Efevberha has decided April 18 to forgo his senior season and declare for the NBA draft. Efevberha said he made the decision three weeks ago.
“Me and coach Braz (head coach Bobby Braswell) sat down and had a meeting and discussed my plans for the future, and (I) told him that this is what I was thinking about,” Efevberha said.
Efevberha said he and Braswell have not been on the same page and did not know if Braswell wanted him back or if he himself wanted to come back.
Since Efevberha did not officially hire an agent, he is eligible to come back and play in college. Cal State Northridge, however, is the only Division I school that Efevberha could play for since he has already transferred once. He can, however, transfer and play for a Division II or a Division III school.
Efevberha said that if he does not go pro this year, he would probably not return to CSUN.
“CSUN is probably out of the picture right now,” Efevberha said. “If I come back here, it would only be for school purposes.”
Efevberha said he believes that he and the team did not click as well as Braswell thought they would. Braswell wanted a more team-oriented game and wanted Efevberha to get his teammates more involved, he said.
“We had many meetings throughout the season going over what I needed to work on,” Efevberha said. “We would watch film together and he would point out things how I could better serve my teammates. I tried, and he knows I was trying to better serve my teammates, but I guess I took to much stuff on my own shoulders.”
Efevberha said he got along with his teammates at the beginning of the season but some of the returning players thought they were going to have a bigger role, adding that they were disappointed, which was “like a cancer that moved throughout the whole team.”
“I had a hunger for the game where I wanted to win so bad,” Efevberha said. “I did not think that they showed the same passion at certain times.”
Efevberha used an example in which he was in the gym late at night by himself. Efevberha said that he expected his teammates to work as hard as he did. He believes that his teammates got comfortable with losing, which is something that he did not like.
“We had team meetings where people needed to know their role on the team,” Efevberha said. “Coach Braz would go over that with the team and tell people they needed to do certain things and not go outside their box.”
The men’s basketball coaching staff could not be reached for comments.
Efevberha said he has been training with a personal trainer and has workouts lined up with the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies.
In the case that Efevberha does not get drafted to play in the NBA, he said he would be interested in playing overseas or in the National Basketball Developmental League (NBDL).
“The main thing I have to do is go into these team workouts and just kill,” Efevberha said. “I got to go in there prepared and make the other guy I am going against look bad.”
Efevberha promised his father that he would get his degree in Pan-African Studies. If playing basketball does not work out, Efevberha said he would go into either coaching or family therapy.
Efevberha’s favorite memory from last season was the moment after CSUN defeated USC.
“That was probably the one time this year where we were a team,” Efevberha said. “Nobody cared about who scored, or about anything, we just wanted to play. That is the way it should have been all season.”
Efevberha said he would have loved to stay at CSUN for another year and play. He said he could have developed his game more and that it does hurt a little to leave.
” I enjoyed my time here at CSUN and I wish them the best of luck,” Efevberha said.
Justin Satzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.