Long V Long

Iowa State redshirt senior Naz Mitrou-Long guards his brother, sophomore Elijah Long, during its game against Mount St. Mary's in Hilton Coliseum on Nov. 14. The Cyclones went into halftime up 39-22.

Elijah Long and Mount St. Mary’s are in the middle of an 11-game road trip to start out the 2016-17 season — many of which are against the nation’s top basketball programs.

That’s not an easy task for anyone.

But when Elijah stepped on to the court at Hilton Coliseum, he found an unusual, but familiar, face staring back at him. It was his brother, Naz Mitrou-Long.

Iowa State (2-0, 0-0 Big 12) took on Mount St. Mary’s (0-2, 0-0 NEC) Monday night, providing a rare reunion for the brothers. And while the Cyclones beat The Mount 73-55, Naz said the game was not like one he’s played before.

“Going in to it I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to be another game,’” Naz said. “Then the lights started flashing and I look over, and I’m like, ‘Man I’m really about to play.’ It was kind of surreal, honestly.”

The brothers had a sizable crowd of family in the arena — 36 by Naz’s count — all packed in behind the Mount St. Mary’s bench in white hybrid shirts honoring both teams and the brother’s numbers.

+3 
ISU vs MSMM

Mitrou-Long had the unique opportunity to play against his younger brother, Elijah Long, when Iowa State hosted Mount Saint Mary's. Pictured are almost 30 members of Mitrou-Long's family who made the trip to see the brothers play.

Regardless of how the game went, Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said he was just happy to get to bring "Team Canada," as he calls it, to Ames to watch Naz and Elijah play. That, he said, isn’t something that gets to happen very often in the world of college basketball.

“[There was] a lot of emotion in this game with Naz and Eli, but I think it was great,” Prohm said. “It was great to get Eli here. … It was great to have that, especially for all that Naz has done for this university and this community.”

While the Cyclones went in to halftime up 39-22, Elijah and The Mount provided quite the challenge for the Cyclones in the second half. Mount St. Mary’s started chipping away at Iowa State’s 17-point halftime lead and was down just 10 points seven minutes into the second half.

+3 
ISU vs MSMM

Sophomore Elijah Young (55) tries to get past older brother Naz Mitrou-Long (15) during a basketball game Nov. 14 in Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones would go on to beat the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers 73-55 and improve to 2-0 on the season.  

Iowa State quickly got itself back into a safe zone, going on a 12-0 run over nearly a five-and-a-half minute span to take a 22-point lead. From there, the Cyclones cruised to the 18-point win.

A lot of The Mount’s run, though, can be credited directly to Elijah. The sophomore finished the game with 19 points and seven rebounds. Iowa State point guard Monté Morris, who was matched up with Elijah for a large portion of the game, had nothing but praise for Naz’s younger brother — and even drew some comparisons between the two.

+3 
ISU vs MSMM

Naz Mitrou-Long hugs his brother, Elijah, after Iowa State's game against Mount St. Mary's on Nov. 14. Iowa State won the game 73-55. 

“He’s a good competitor. He’s a big time player, and that team needs him to stay aggressive and make plays,” Morris said. “He’s got that same competitive edge that Naz does. You can tell out there. I’m happy that he and Naz got to play against each other, and the whole Canada came out tonight.”

And while the situation was abnormal, and something that Naz hasn’t likely experienced since the two lived together in Mississauga, Ontario, he said he was just happy for the experience to get to play against his brother one last time.

“Part of me wanted to cheer for him. I can’t even lie, because he was making some plays tonight,” Naz said. “Everybody saw that. Part of me was keeping it competitive. It was a little weird, but man it was a good time.”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.