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The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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Q&A with Lalani Ellis and Sydney-James Desroches

Payton Liggins
Freshman guard Lalani Ellis and redshirt freshman forward Sydney-James Desroches.

Freshman guard Lalani Ellis and redshirt-freshman Sydney-James Desroches answered some questions ranging from any superstitions before the game to which teammate they would let get the aux.


Q: How has the season been going so far?

Ellis: “The season has been going well. We had a few bumps during our journey, but that’s part of every journey. We did nothing but prepare ourselves to fight adversity when it comes around again.”

Desroches: “The season has had some ups and downs like every season will, but it has been good.”

Q: What’s your favorite basketball team?

Ellis: “Milwaukee Bucks.”

Desroches: “Miami Heat.”

Q: Favorite snack before a game?

Ellis: “Starburst, Skittles, Twizzlers. Anything sugary.”

Desroches: “I don’t really have a favorite snack before the game. Probably chips, which I shouldn’t be eating.”

Eastern’s redshirt freshman forward Sydney-James Desroches looks up to NBA player Kevin Durant. (File)

Q: Favorite meal before a game?

Ellis: “Get me a burger and some fries, and I’m going crazy.” 

Desroches: “Chick-fil-A.”

Q: What are your goals for the season?

Ellis: “Win the NCAA Tournament. Show them what we are really like. We really some dogs, so y’all better watch out. We just had a bump in a row. What’s the journey without a bump? Come on now.”

Desroches: “I say the goal for the season is to get a ring and be the champs. Regular conference and the OVC Tournament, and then just to get better as a basketball player. Like, it doesn’t stop here. Just keep going up as a team like [Ellis] said. We some dogs, and a lot of people don’t know that; it’s time to show them.”

Q: What basketball player do you look up to the most?

Ellis: “Lonzo Ball. You know he really locked in on a defensive side, so I really gotta lock in on defense. So I look at him and then offense just gonna come.”

Desroches: “Kevin Durant. I just love his mid-range game, and I think he’s an all around scorer, one of the best scorers in the game, so I try to model my game after him.”

Q: Post-game meal?

Ellis: “Burger and fries from the [Martin Luther King Jr.] Union.”

Desroches: “Caesar salad. I just love it so much.”

Q: Favorite basketball movie?

Ellis: “’Space Jam.’”

Desroches: “I never watch a basketball movie. I just watched ‘Love & Basketball’ like last year.”

Q: Do you have any superstitions before a game?

Ellis: “Probably got to be like the way I put my socks and my shoes on. Then I gotta listen to a specific song.”

Desroches: “I just gotta pray before every game. Like, if I forget to pray, I feel like my game will be terrible.”

Q: Favorite sport other than basketball?

Ellis: “Volleyball.”

Desroches: “Volleyball.”

Q: What sport would you play other than basketball?

Ellis: “I probably wouldn’t play another sport, none of them spark my interests.”

Desroches: “I would play volleyball instead because I love the sport, and that is the first sport I ever played.”

Q: Ice Mountain or purified water?

Ellis: “Ice Mountain.”

Desroches: “This is kind of hard, but I’m going with purified water.”

Lalani Ellis, a freshman guard, balances being a student athlete by prioritizing her schoolwork first. (File)

Q: Pancakes or waffles?

Ellis: “Pancakes.”

Desroches: “Definitely pancakes.”

Q: Which teammate would you let get the aux?

Ellis: “Taris Thornton.”

Desroches: “Emily Meidel.”

Q: How are you balancing being a student athlete?

Ellis: “I balance being a student athlete by putting my schoolwork first. My mom always told me basketball would be around forever so make my education my main priority, and basketball will flow after that.”

Desroches: “I balance being a student athlete by putting God first in all of my days because praying or reading my bible gives me peace and removes so much weight and stress off my shoulders.”

Q: Favorite season?

Ellis: “Fall.”

Desroches: “Summer.”

Q: What do you put in your ramen noodles?

Ellis: “Hot sauce.”

Desroches: “I put cayenne pepper in my ramen and the seasoning packet that comes with it, but when I was younger, we would put hot dogs in it.”

Q: Favorite memory of the team?

Ellis: “We went out one day for one of my teammates’ birthdays. We all ate pizza, took pictures and dressed up nice, you know? It’s my favorite time to be with them.”

Desroches: “I can’t really pinpoint one because there were so many. So I’ll just say like, anytime we’re running around the locker room chasing each other throwing water on each other.”

Q: What would you tell your younger self?

Ellis: “Always push yourself no matter what, and remember your reason for doing what you love. Keep your confidence high through any obstacle.”

Desroches: “I would tell my younger self to learn to speak up for herself and to find a relationship with God sooner because that would have helped with so much.”


Payton Liggins can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Payton Liggins, Reporter
Payton Liggins is a freshman sports media relations major. This is her first year at The News.

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