What A Year For Moses Ehambe
Tulsa, Okla. • Oct. 21, 2011
From released to champion. From the son of an immigrant from the Congo to representing his home nation in pursuit of a gold medal. What a year for Moses Ehambe.
Ehambe began 2011 playing the game he loves in northern Spain but was soon released. He did not leave empty-handed, but he would not know how important his Spanish stint was until months later. To carry him through, Ehambe had to rely on his foundation. The faith in God that took him to Oral Roberts University (’08) was what would lead him to his next destination.
“It is my trust that got me to where I’m at and will get me where I’m going. My dream is to make it to the NBA,” Ehambe said,“but I know I’m not going to make it on my own strength. I really have to trust in Him.”
After Spain, Ehambe and his pregnant wife Sarah landed in Avila Beach, Calif. The couple did not know what was ahead, but similar to Spain, the Ehambes carried something with them when Moses left to join the Austin Toros; Sarah would later give birth to twin girls. Avilah and Indirah are constant reminders that God can produce something good out of the storm.
Ehambe’s time with the Toros, however, was anything but clear and sunny.
“It was amazing,” the 6-6 guard said. “I came over to Austin last year and played like eight games. The first five games were horrible. I’ve never played that bad.
All of a sudden, I got traded to Iowa and we’re winning games. We won a championship. It’s like, ‘OK, Father God. This is what you wanted. You knew that we were going to win a championship, and you wanted me here.’”
Ehambe averaged 24.7 ppg. during the Energy’s three-game finals series. He shot better than 50 percent from the field and behind the arc en route to the championship. While Ehambe enjoyed an emergence on the court, Sarah was grateful to be with family in Iowa where she was raised.
So how did a guy go from being released, to averaging less than 12 points a game, to being what Energy General Manager Chris Makris called a “great first piece for our defense of the championship”?
It all started in Spain. There Ehambe bought into defense and rebounding like never before. He didn’t have a choice, as the club prided itself on a defensive backbone.
If only Ehambe had believed in those fundamentals during his time with the Tulsa 66ers. This week Ehambe has been under the watchful eye of the USA Pan American Games head coach, Nate Tibbetts, the same man who coached Ehambe in his first two NBDL seasons with Tulsa.
Now there’s no mistaking Ehambe’s maturation both as a leader and on the defensive end, Tibbetts told him. As a result, he’s ready for the next destination straight ahead.
“It’s amazing,” Ehambe said about going to Guadalajara. “To have that ‘USA’ on your chest and know that the whole United States of America is behind you, and that you’re going to chase the gold for the US, it’s an amazing feeling and an honor.”
Moses Ehambe Bio Notes: Helped lead the Iowa Energy in 2010-11 to its first-ever NBA Development League Championship, averaged during the finals three-game series 24.7 ppg. Joined Iowa after a trade shortly before the end of the 2010-11 regular season.The Tulsa 66ers acquired him on Feb. 5, 2011, then traded him to the Austin Toros. Played four seasons at Oral Roberts University (2005-08), helping the Golden Eagles to four straight Summit League regular-season titles and three straight (2006-08) NCAA Tournament appearances. Averaged 7.5 ppg. and shot 40.9 percent from 3-point in his ORU career. Ranks fourth in school history in career 3-point percentage (.409%). Led Oral Roberts to the NCAA Tournament and was selected as the 2008 Summit League Tournament MVP after knocking down seven 3-pointers and scoring 25 points in ORU's 71-64 championship game victory over IUPUI. Averaged 13.7 points and 7.9 rebounds as a senior at Mansfield Summit (Texas) and helped team to a 26-9 record and a district runner-up finish last season. Named team MVP, All-District 4-5A and All-TABC (Texas Association of Basketball Coaches). Set school records for points and rebounds.