Rookie Seke rolling for Griffins with double-digit points in five of his last six games

Joel Seke scored 31 points in two games against Brandon last weekend (Railene Hooper photo).
Joel Seke scored 31 points in two games against Brandon last weekend (Railene Hooper photo).

Jason Hills 
For MacEwan Athletics 
EDMONTON – With a young roster comes opportunity, and Joel Seke has certainly made the most of his chance to make a strong impression in his first season with the MacEwan Griffins. 

The former St. Francis Xavier Ram has carved out a key role as a rookie. In eight games, Seke has averaged 11.4 points and 4.3 rebounds and averaged just under 26 minutes per game. 

While primarily used in more of a sixth-man role, Seke made his first two career starts last weekend against the Brandon Bobcats. 

"It's exciting. It's also a little scary, but you've got to embrace making mistakes, because it's the only way you can grow," said Seke. 

"It's been exciting to grow my game and level up in that sense." 

Seke made his regular season debut on the road against UNBC back in November and scored a modest four and two points in his first action of the season, but it didn't take long for him to heat up. 

In his first home game with the Griffins right before Christmas, he led the team with 18 points in a loss to UBC, and since then he's scored in double figures in all but one game, including a career-high 21 points in last Friday's overtime loss to Brandon. 

Seke currently is third in team scoring and his 42.5% field goal percentage also ranks third. 

"At the beginning of the season, he (head coach Mike Connolly) said that I have a chance and opportunity, but it would depend on how I did in practice and the work I was willing to put in," said Seke. 

"I knew if I wanted to make the most of my opportunity, I had to earn it, and that had to start with the way I worked in practices in games. I started coming off the bench and getting more minutes, and now I'm in a starting role. 

"I feel like I can handle a bigger role. My vision is to become a player on our team that can be a strong off-ball scorer and be someone that can make a difference on the defensive side of the ball." 

Seke and the Griffins (0-12) will battle the Lethbridge Pronghorns (2-12) on Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (3 p.m., both David Atkinson Gym, Canada West TV).


Originally from Montreal, Seke and his mother moved to Edmonton when he was a toddler. He played a lot of soccer growing up and didn't pick up a basketball until his mother introduced him to the game when he was 11. 

It was a seamless transition for Seke, who grew to six-foot-five, and it didn't take long before the court was where he wanted to stay. 

"I enjoyed soccer, but basketball became my passion. My mom played the game when I was younger, and she got me into it. The love for the game is something I grew for myself," said Seke. 

Joel Seke aims to become just as good of a defensive player as an offensive one as he learns the ropes in his first Canada West season (Railene Hooper photo).

Seke credits his mom as being the backbone of his family and has been a role model for him growing up. 

"My mom has raised me, and she's always worked hard to make sure I have everything I need to succeed. She's always been one to set a good example for me," said Seke. 

The Griffins are still searching for their first win of the season. Last weekend against Brandon, they lost two close battles, including a heartbreaker in overtime on Friday. 

As they get set to face Lethbridge, who is also going through a rebuilding year as a program, Seke feels if they can learn from some of their lessons against Brandon, they have a chance to get into the win column. 

"We're a young team, and we're learning and sometimes we try not to do too much and force things," said Seke. 

"It comes down to execution down the stretch, looking for good shots and remaining calm."