It’s been well documented that ISU men’s basketball player Naz Mitrou-Long cut last season short because he was still recovering from a double hip surgery.
But now, fans are seeing the new Mitrou-Long at the YMCA Capital City League. He hasn’t felt this good physically since his freshman year.
“They’re great,” Mitrou-Long said of his hips. “They feel better than ever. I’m having no problems with them. I’m stretching a lot and doing the things I need to do.”
Two weeks ago Mitrou-Long tried out for the Canadian National Basketball Team with former Cyclone teammate Melvin Ejim. Ejim said Mitrou-Long looked great on the floor. There was no rust.
Mitrou-Long had been knocking off the rust for a while, however, because he has been practicing with his Iowa State teammates.
“He’s moving so much better,” Ejim said in a phone interview with the Daily. “I think that’s a testament to Iowa State’s athletic trainers and the people they have on staff there who’ve been able to get him back on track. He’s been moving great, looking good. You can’t even tell he had hip surgeries.”
Fans at Cap City can’t tell he’s had the hip surgeries, either. Mitrou-Long is doing everything for his Phoenix Renewable Resources team.
In the three games he’s played, Mitrou-Long is averaging a triple-double with 51.3 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
In the first game back playing in front of a portion of the Iowa State faithful at Cap City, Mitrou-Long broke the Cap City scoring record with 72 points. To add to that he had 13 rebounds and 12 assists.
Former ISU basketball player, and recent draft pick by the Indiana Pacers, Georges Niang was in attendance that night.
“Amazing. Amazing,” Niang said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. For what Naz has been through in the last year and for him to fight back through everything and come out and do that in his debut in the Cap City is just amazing.
"I couldn’t be more happy for him," Niang saig. "The kid works his tail off and is never going to take no for an answer. That’s my brother for life, for sure.”