Ezikpe will design and decorate the Coaches vs. Cancer


NORFOLK, VA (WTKR) — Old Dominion’s Jeff Jones wore sneakers during games before benefiting from Coaches Cancer. He has never worn sneakers designed and painted by one of his own players.

Monarch junior striker Kalu Ezikpe is an artist. He enjoys drawing animated characters and told News 3 in November that he hopes to create his own animated show one day. Ezikpe has also applied his art to footwear and is the designer and artist of Jones’ sneakers which he will wear on Saturday night against Charlotte.

“Thanks to social media, you see all these cool kicks,” Ezikpe said of how he started his shoe designs. “I love to draw, so I look at these shoes and I’m like, ‘This is something I could easily do.'”

He drew designs on the shoes of his high school teammates and for some of his college teammates at Old Dominion. Now he will put his talents at the service of his coach and a good cause.

“That’s cool,” the Monarch forward said. “I definitely had to use my own skills and some type of media on my skills. To do that for my coach is kinda cool, kinda cool and special.”

“I asked him ‘is that something you’d like to do? “Said Jones. “It would have some notoriety and I think it would be good for me to wear shoes that have been painted by one of my players and then if we can auction them off and win some money for cancer coaches, so good. He jumped at the chance.

Cancer is a cause close to home for Jones. The head coach was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015 but says he hasn’t given much thought to his personal situation as it relates to this weekend.

“I haven’t really thought about my personal situation, but the fact that Kalu is doing this, I think is pretty cool.”

While Ezikpe can do a lot with a stroke of the pen, his basketball stroke has also been pretty accurate this season. He’s averaging 11.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game and is one of the Monarchs’ most reliable big men.

Ezikpe’s art was featured on the November 3 edition of the Old Dominion Full Court Press.

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