Baller breakdown: Lacey James

By Julian Nunnery

Name: Lacey James

Position: Forward/Center

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Age you started playing: 3 years old

Favorite sports team: Cleveland Cavaliers

Athlete role model: LeBron James

“My last name [is] James,” James said. “I try to simulate my game after him. I love LeBron. I think he’s a long lost cousin or something.”

Court strengths: Rebounding and scoring

“I think I have a lot of strengths,” James said. “Scoring inside and outside, and I can shoot the three.”

Court weaknesses: Mid-range shooting

“I think I can work on everything to be honest,” James said. “I’m not a perfect player, no one is. At the end of the day I have to be on the gym working on my whole game.”

Favorite teammate: Justin Thomas and Eugene German

“Last year we worked out a lot together,” James said. “Me and all of the smaller guards really came together [last year].”

Interesting fact: Crazy appetite

“I ate two whole pizzas from Pizza Hut one time,” James said. “I can eat a lot, that’s a fact.”

Best part about playing for NIU: The culture

“This is a program that’s on the come up,” James said. “It’s just fun. The fans get into it a lot and it’s fun playing in front of them as well. I love the atmosphere around here.”

James transferred to NIU last year but had to sit out the entire season because of NCAA transfer rules. In his first official game with the team Tuesday, he managed to record a double-double scoring 10 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.

Head Coach Mark Montgomery was proud of how James performed in his first game with the team.

“I think Lacey James [played well] for his first game [with] 10 [points] and 13 [rebounds],” Montgomery said. “I thought for his first time playing basketball in a year and half he had his moments, especially in the second half.”

For the 2017-2018 season, James said his main goals are to rebound effectively and provide energy and leadership.

“My energy worked really well,” James said. “I was on the boards. I wasn’t hitting too many of my shots tonight, but at the end of the day I can’t focus on my [personal] battles. We have to make sure we get the win. So the best thing I can do is rebound as well. Also making sure I’m talking and being a leader on the floor.”