Our Senior Send-Off Series continues with the departure of Ayodeji Egbeyemi, the fifth-year guard out of Loyola Marymount. Egbeyemi, who is currently working toward his MBA in the LMU Business program, has been a consistent and solid contributor for the Lions throughout his time at Loyola Marymount and will be missed in the West Coast Conference next season.
As a native of Lagos, Nigeria, Ayodeji began participating in United States basketball programs during the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders camps in Africa in 2008, in which he earned MVP honors. Due to these impressive performances, Egbeyemi made his way onto the National Christian Academy in Washington, D.C. later in October of ’08, in which he yet again was awarded with the MVP title during an east coast tournament. It was during this time that he was discovered by the LMU staff and became an immediate target for the program.
After committing to the Lions back in 2010, Egbeyemi played in 28 games during his freshman campaign. In 13 of those matchups, his time on the court came as a starter for the Lions, and he finished the season averaging 5.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game.
As his basketball career at Loyola Marymount continued, though, his stats only continued to improve. By his junior season, Egbeyemi was playing and starting in every game for the Lions, averaging 10.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. However, this rapid improvement was eventually cut short, as Ayodeji suffered a groin injury against Pepperdine in February of 2014. This setback put an end to the season, causing him to take a medical redshirt for the remainder of that year.
Sadly, it didn’t get much easier after the 2012-13 season. Egbeyemi was healthy and back on track to being a force for the Lions when he was dealt a hip injury during a game against UC Riverside during his senior year. He finished that season averaging 7.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest, but was forced to cut this season even shorter than the previous one.
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Needless to say, it hasn’t been the easiest two years for Ayodeji during his time at Loyola Marymount. One nagging injury after the other has put a severe cap on his time spent on the hardwood. Thanks to his medical redshirt season, though, he was able to make up for lost time, staying healthy throughout the duration of the 2014-15 season, which marked his fifth year with the LMU program. Ayodeji was finally able to provide solid contributions for the Lions for this entire season, avoiding injury and logging a hefty amount of minutes for new head coach, Mike Dunlap.
In his final season, Egbeyemi notched 9.7 PPG and 3.4 RPG, getting his groove back onto the basketball court. Though Loyola Marymount finished the season in last place in the West Coast Conference, it was relieving and exciting to see Ayodeji back on the court for the full-length of the season.
It’s safe to say that he ended his basketball career on a high note at Loyola Marymount, and we wish Ayodeji nothing but the best moving forward in his career.