2021 Elite prospect point guard Imo Essien is a warrior at the point guard position. He has a special fight that screams champion. He knows how to control the game; he can control games at a fast or slow pace at a young age which displays his basketball IQ. He is 5-10 and reminds me of Gary Payton. Essien is as tough as they come, he plays for Bishop Lynch high school in Dallas Texas we talked about his recent impact and dynamic play plus the schools he is interested in playing for.
LJ: You have been hungry to put your name out there. What do you want people to know about Imo Essien?
Imo: I want people to know that I have an outstanding work ethic. I put the work in day in and day out. I want people to know that there is no facade about me, and I truly love the game of basketball. When I am on the court, I am a natural born leader with a mindset to make everyone around me better. I want everyone to know that every time I step on the court, I play like it’s my last possible chance to do so.
LJ: They call you “Mo Money”. Where did that come from?
Imo: Way back in my hoop career, I was very offensively passive and would take more pride in an assist than actually scoring the basket! I would literally rack up my assists and finish games with 2-8 points, even sometimes 0. I was never one to focus on scoring! My parents tried to encourage me game after game to score more. It got to the point where they begin to reward me with money for each basket. So before every game, they would ask me, “You going to get some Mo’ money?” Friends and teammates became aware and it just stuck! Coincidentally, Mo is also my nickname which derives from my formal name Imo.
LJ: You said you recently scored 26 points against the #1 team at Session 3? What were the stats of your other stand out games?
Imo: I’m clearly a difference maker in every game we play! However, our recent game against Pro skills clearly showed my versatility as I finished with 13 points but a monstrous 7 steals and 9 assist.
LJ: Have you been getting any attention from any schools?
Imo: Not yet, I am certain that the attention will come soon.
LJ: What do you feel you need to improve on the most?
Imo: My focus this summer is to become stronger and thus improve my physical appearance. As a crafty guard like myself, I feel it’s important to be strong enough to withstand bumps and finish through contact around the rim.
LJ: What makes you a stand out point guard?
Imo: I feel like my I.Q. has separated me for a while now. I have always known everyone on my team’s strengths and weaknesses. I can deliver them the ball right where they like it and make everyone look better. I help make the game easy for myself and those that play with me. I have the ability to breakdown any defense and dump it off to the big man for an easy slam. If you are a shooter, I can get in the lane and draw your man, for an easy kick out three. My ability to read the secondary line of defenders has allowed me to score easily and dish off creative passes.
LJ: I have seen you put a little Jelly FAM in your moves. Is that a movement you are influenced by?
Imo: Of course it is, and I’m very fond of it. Instead of slam dunking the ball, I rely on the good ole’ jelly FAM to get creative with my finishes around the rim and still get the oooohs and the aaahhhhs from the stand. More than being impressive and flashy, it’s actually very beneficial when I need to maneuver around a big man.
LJ: Do you have a dream offer? What are 5 college programs you are interested in?
Imo: I have always loved Kansas University and West Virginia University ever since I was a little kid. Bill Self is a genius and so is Bob Huggins. I love to play solid defense and West Virginia’s defense upsets a team every season! I study the game and seek to find polished guards. Kansas has an underrated killer guard every year.
LJ: What other top high school players have you played against? What were your stats against those guys?
Imo: I’ve played against many local and national talented hoopers. Most recently, I’ve competed against Randy Brady and Chuck Isitua who both play for We All Can Go 15U EYBL. We ended that game victoriously and I finished with 14 points, 8 assist, and 4 rebounds.
LJ: What were your averages last season?
Imo: During last season, I averaged 16 points, 7 assist, & 5 rebounds a game. That success has followed me into this current spring and summer season.
LJ: What motivates you to be an elite prospect?
Imo: Not everyone is blessed with this type of skill set. So I’m intrinsically motivated every day because I respect and honor my God-given talent. I understand that my gift, my passion, is connected to my purpose and that in itself ignites me to give 100% and thus strive to be an elite prospect. I am also directly motivated by seeing the progression in my overall game. I enjoy every aspect of growing and improving, but nothing makes me happier than seeing the fruits of my labor and refinement of my skill in game like situations. That’s why I’m constantly driven to be intentional in the the gym and hands on every step of the way. That’s why I’m so focused on developing my game day by day. Seeing the players on our 17U Houston Hoops EYBL team, guys I know, like Tyrese Maxey, De’vion Harmon, and Chris Harris obtaining high major division 1 scholarships also motivates me and fuels me to continue to work hard. These are guys I’ve actually kicked it and trained with. To see their success proves to me that hard work isn’t overrated.