With his calm, relaxed demeanor, Ajose isn’t the first person who stands out when the Chiefs take the basketball court to warm up before a game. Hearing him vocally lead his team would be unexpected.
But once he gets his hands on the ball, those in the stands are able to see exactly why Ajose is so well-known by coaches and teams who have had to compete against him.
Heading into Tuesday night’s game with North Springs, Ajose was averaging 30.5 points, nine rebounds and seven assists a game — starting the new season on fire. Ajose is so far averaging 10 points, two rebounds and two assists more than he did last season.
In Sequoyah’s 102-101 victory over Douglas County last Tuesday, Ajose showed why he is considered a clutch player, hitting four free throws within the final 10 seconds of the game to put the Chiefs in front for good.
With stats like that, it really doesn’t matter if Ajose says a word.
“He doesn’t really lead necessarily by speaking,” Sequoyah coach Jeremy Adams said, “but you’ve got to respect him for how well he plays.”
Ajose chooses a different route for being a leader.
“I try to do everything the right way and lead by example,” he said. “Hopefully, my teammates understand it.”
When asked what words could properly describe Ajose as a player, Adams had more than a few.
“Explosive for sure, he can definitely get to the rim. He’s tough, he can take some good hits,” Adams said. “Athletic and coachable, which is huge. He is a very good listener as well.”
Most impressive to Adams, however, is Ajose’s ability to be more than just a player who can put the ball through the net.
“It’s not just about scoring,” Adams said. “You have to be able to do other things on the court. He gets his hands on a lot of balls defensively. Right now, that is probably why he is scoring so much.”
Ajose has also seen a steady increase in his number of assists and rebounds each game.
“I’m more proud of his assist numbers than anything,” Adams said. “I already knew he could score.”
Sequoyah guard Logan Taylor calls Ajose an “all-around player.”
“He can drive, shoot, rebound — he does everything that everybody needs him to do,” Taylor added. “He will dish it around and use his teammates when he needs to. And, if he needs to score, he’ll score.”