Mike Ekanem begins his first year at Louisiana Tech as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator on Teresa Weatherspoon's staff.
Ekanem comes to Ruston with experience on the AAU, college and professional levels. In addition to his coaching experience, Ekanem has spent part of his career working closely in the strength and conditioning field.
His responsibilities on Weatherspoon's staff include serving as the recruiting coordinator, camp coordinator and in guard development.
"Mike's recruiting mindset is why not go after top 100 players," Weatherspoon said. "He is a young man who is fired up about his responsibilities and who is fired up about being a part of this program. He did a tremendous job on the professional level with both the San Antonio Silver Stars and San Antonio Spurs.
"The thing I liked the most about Mike is his ability to develop players; his way of teaching and his positive approach. He makes sure every player knows they are capable of getting it done. He has the experience from the pro level which is big. He also has great connections with kids and coaches to help with recruiting."
The Houston native has spent four years working with the WNBA's San Antonio Silver Stars, serving as the franchise's director of video and athletic performance where he was in charge of all game preparation, skill development and strength and conditioning and personally worked with WNBA All-Stars Becky Hammon, Sophia Young, Marie Ferdinand, Ruth Riley and track and field star Marion Jones. He also spent three years as an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the NBA's San Antonio Spurs.
"Being on the Lady Techster women's basketball staff is an absolute blessing for me," Ekanem said. "I have been offered several college jobs in the past few years but was never ready to make that move nor did I feel any of those jobs were a right fit for me. When (Coach) Spoon offered me a job at LA Tech it was a no-brainer. I know the tradition and history of the Lady Techster program. I have faith that this is the right program for me and perfect timing to make a huge impact in both recruiting and skill development."
Ekanem was also the founder, director and coach of the Sophia Young Elite AAU girls basketball organization which finished ranked as the No. 36 club team in the nation and No. 3 in the state of Texas in 2012. He was responsible for recruiting nationally ranked players in the state of Texas and all 28 of his high school seniors signed scholarships to play collegiately.
He earned his bachelor's degree in athletic training and sports medicine from Texas Lutheran in 2005 where he earned all-conference and all-region honors during his playing career. He earned his master's in exercise science from California University of Pennsylvania in 2007.
He played professionally for four years in Germany (Wolmirstedt Baskets), Ireland (Longford Falcons) and Romania (BC Targoviste).