Updated: Jun 11, 2022
After averaging 20.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.9 steals as a freshman at Heritage Christian HS (CA), 2024 guard Isaiah Elohim transferred to the renowned Sierra Canyon School (CA) last fall. At Sierra Canyon, Elohim played with the likes of Amari Bailey, Bronny James, Mike Price, Shy Odom, and Kijani Wright among others. While falling short in the CIF State Open Division Playoffs to Centennial (CA), he was an instrumental piece to the team and showcased his ball skills as a polished three-level scorer. Last summer, the 6’5” guard led the 15U Nike Peach Jam in scoring at 28.5 points per game. In the 16U EYBL division with PG Elite this year, Elohim has Peach Jam aspirations, teaming up with fellow five-stars Jamari Phillips and Jase Richardson. The rising junior is a consensus top-five player in his class and a talented prospect who should continue to draw the attention of blue blood college programs.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Elohim talked about watching Kobe’s 2008 Olympics performance and how it made him fall in love with the game, leading by example and sharing insight with his teammates, considering G League Ignite and Overtime Elite as viable options, and much more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2024 prospect Isaiah Elohim, from Northridge, California:
Pro Insight: How did you get to where you are today? Talk a bit about your background and family.
Isaiah Elohim: Well, at first my aunt actually played pro in Israel. She's taught me a lot of the game from just the mental side of being a pro and just doing those types of things and having what it takes to be a pro 'cause it's very hard to get there. And originally I'm from upstate New York, so it was a grit-and-grind type of a city and I had to make my way. And ultimately, when I moved to California, that's when everything started to fall in line for me. Everything started to be in motion. I started to really fall in love with basketball and just have a greater passion for it when I moved here.
PI: What were the reasons behind moving from New York to California?
IE: Right, I have way more opportunity here to make a name for myself and to really prove myself. ‘Cause on the West Coast, there are very skilled players, so finding my way to finesse the game and learn how to be skilled.
PI: Any other athletes in the family besides your aunt?
IE: My dad was a big athlete and really put the basketball in my hands. He was the one that really started my love for the game of basketball, just going on many hoops and dunking on my brother and things like that. When I was younger, just watching people like Kobe and LeBron, that's where it really made me fall in love with basketball, so I'll definitely say my dad was an athlete, my brother was an athlete and that's probably it. My aunt, my dad, and my brother were athletes.
PI: How much older is your brother?
IE: Older by five years.
PI: Okay, so you’ve been able to hold your own against him even though he’s got those years on you?
IE: Yeah, but that took a very long time to even get close to him 'cause he was killing me when we was younger.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?
IE: I played football when I was in fourth grade. I played football and basketball, but ultimately I chose basketball 'cause I really loved it.
PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths?
IE: Well, I'm a physical and skilled guard and I think my best strength is also my mid-range and just my ability to create for myself and for others.
PI: We watched you extensively at Border League last year — the way you get into the paint, find your spot and rise into your shot…Would you say that’s one of your go-to moves?
IE: Yeah, most definitely.
PI: Who do you model your game after or study on film?
IE: I definitely study a lot of CJ McCollum and I study a lot of DeMar DeRozan and Devin Booker too, just simplifying my game and not having to work as hard to score.
PI: What do you feel you still need to improve on the most? What have you been working on?
IE: Just working on extending my range to the three so my three can become consistent and I can fully round out my game and also just fine-tuning the things I'm really good at — the mid-range, the handle and just working on my speed and agility and all that stuff. So there's quite a bit of stuff I'm really still working on.
PI: What are your current measurements?
IE: I'm currently 6’5”, 205 [pounds] right now. I don't really know what my wingspan is, but I do have a really long wingspan.
PI: What position do you view yourself in?
IE: I personally see myself as a scoring guard that can also really playmake 'cause when I get to the league, I will eventually be a two guard 'cause I'm big and I'm lengthy and things like that, so it's where I'm going to be, really a two guard.
PI: Do you have a training regimen?
IE: Well, usually I will stretch for a long time first. I usually stretch everything in my legs, my arms, and stretch my knees just so I can fully invest in the training without having any problems with being warm and all that stuff. Then, I get into my handle routine. Just some heavy balls, two heavy balls. Just dribbling, doing what I do and then again to form shots. I do that stuff before I start just to get my shot quicker and really work on the details with my shot and then that's when I get into the workout and everything.
PI: Do you use any specific recovery equipment?
IE: Yeah, I usually use a Normatec to recover and get the inflammation out of my legs 'cause I do a lot. I train a lot. I play in a lot of events and I do a lot of stuff for Sierra, too, so I do Normatec. I ice, too, as well, just to get the inflammation out of my knees so my legs won't be really as tight. And then I just stretch.
PI: What are your short term goals you have for yourself as a player?
IE: I have a lot of them, but just goals for this summer is to be the best player I can be, 'cause I'm gonna be in events that's gonna really get me better and it's gonna help me gain great perspectives about the game. So my main goal is obviously to win EYBL and be one of the best players in it, but also, just to learn and really just get better from here.
PI: Who has been the toughest individual matchup you’ve ever faced?
IE: I'll definitely say playing against Amari Bailey just 'cause his change of speed is just so quick that you can't really react to what he's doing. So I'd definitely say Amari Bailey my freshman year was a very tough matchup.
PI: What are you hoping to showcase with PG Elite differently than at Sierra Canyon?
IE: Right, just showing what I can do, 'cause I felt like I didn't show what I can completely do and show my full range of skills and full game and also just stepping into a leader role. You're gonna see me talk to my teammates and just learn how to be a leader.
PI: What type of leader are you?
IE: I would say I lead by example with everything I do — about how hard I work and how much effort I really put into everything that I do. And I really talk to my guys, too, and just give them little tidbits of what they can do and what I can do to get better.
PI: Is there anyone in particular you’re looking forward to playing with on PG Elite?
IE: I mean I'm looking forward to playing with everybody 'cause I think we're all great players and we all have great potential.
PI: It will be a fun team to watch with yourself, Jase, and Jamari.
IE: Yessir, they’re both very great players.
PI: By the way, congrats on your selection to the USA Basketball Junior Men’s National Team April minicamp. Describe your previous experience with USAB.
IE: The last experience was really good because I got to learn the league perspective a little bit and just to see the alumni they have there and just things like that and the hardware they have and stuff they accomplished, it really fuels you to be better and hopefully be on their level.