Elijah Obade tabbed PSAC top defensive player
Elijah Obade capped an outstanding career at Millersville University by picking up two big Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference honors this week.
Obade, a Charleroi graduate, was named to the All-PSAC East First Team and was also named the PSAC East Defensive Player of the Year.
Obade led the Marauders to the 19-11 campaign that included a trip to the PSAC Tournament where the Marauders were eliminated by West Chester, 73-62, in the quarterfinals.
Obade tormented the opposition with his shot blocking, charge drawing and rebounding prowess. The 6-9 center anchored a defense that surrendered only 65.3 points per game and ranked fourth in the PSAC in field goal percentage defense and third in 3-point field goal percentage defense.
Obade said he was pleased to be recognized for his hard work and dedication.
“It feels great to get some recognition for all the hard work I put in,” he said. “I just hope to somehow be a role model for the guys coming back (at Millersville) next season.”
Obade said he wasn't sure where his career would take him at Millersville, but that he tried to make the most of it.
“You start out somewhere and figure out your weaknesses,” he said. “Then you go to work and target those weaknesses. You work hard and eventually end up a premier player in the conference. I think it shows that hard work does pay off.”
One season ago, the Marauders ranked last against the three, but Obade's shot-altering presence on the interior allowed the Marauder guards to overplay and extend their defensive efforts.
Obade set in a single-season Millersville record with 72 blocked shots and led the PSAC in blocks, rebounding (11.1 per game) and double-doubles (13). The PSAC runner-up in blocked shots recorded 29 fewer than Obade and he averaged 1.2 more rebounds than any other player in the league. Obade pulled down at least eight rebounds in 25 of 29 games and recorded a career-high of 21 against Lock Haven on Dec. 1.
Obade spent the majority of the season at the top of the NCAA leaderboard in rebounding. He currently ranks fifth in the nation in rebounding, eighth in blocks and 11th in double-doubles. He is one of only two players in Division II ranks in the top 10 of both blocks and rebounds.
For the season, Obade averaged 11.7 points.
As a junior, Obade narrowly missed averaging a double-double as he averaged 11.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. He led the PSAC in rebounding and blocked shots and was 10th in the nation in rebounding as a junior.
As a sophomore, he started in 13 games and averaged 5.7 points and 5.0 rebounds.
Obade says he is hoping that his career will continue. He is debuting for a semi-pro team in Harrisburg on Sunday and said he has some hopes to play professionally overseas.
“I have a few connections and I hope to get a look overseas,” he said. “We'll see what happens.”
Joining Obade on the East First Team are east Stroudsburg's Whis Grant and Terrance King, Mansfield's Joe Bell, Kutztown's Micah Fraction and West Chester's Jon Breedon.
On the West side California University's Keith Lowe was a Second Team selection.
The West First Team includes Edinboro's Isaiah Prince and Bryan Theriot, Indiana's Mathis Keita, Gannon's Darrell Blanton, Mercyhurst's Luis Leao and Slippery Rock's Devin Taylor.
Cal U's Jake Jacubec was named West Freshman of the Year.
Obade is the son of Rachel Obade of Monessen.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.