Mekeli Wesley

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Mekeli Wesley
Personal information
Born (1979-02-02) February 2, 1979 (age 37)
Suva, Fiji
Nationality Fijian / Samoan
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High school Provo (Provo, Utah)
College BYU (1997–2001)
NBA draft 2001 / Undrafted
Playing career 2001–2010
Position Forward
Career history
2001 Mulhouse (France)
2001 Polonia Warszawa (Poland)
2001–2002 Ferrol CB (Spain)
2001–2004 Eurolines Vilvoorde (Belgium)
2004–2005 Stade Clermontois BA (France)
2005 C.S. Autun Basket (France)
2005 S.L. Benfica (Portugal)
2005–2009 Did not play
2009–2010 Bucaneros de Campeche (Mexico)
Career highlights and awards

Mekeli Tiu Wesley (born February 2, 1979)[1] is a Fijian-Samoan[2] former basketball player who starred in the United States before embarking on an international professional career. In college he was the 2001 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year while playing for Brigham Young (BYU). Professionally, Wesley's staggered career began in 2001 and officially ended in 2010. He now works in the insurance industry.[3]

Early life[edit]

Wesley was born in Suva, Fiji[4] as one of five children to parents Hiagi and Susan Wesley, who met one another while attending BYU.[5] He grew up in Provo, Utah and attended Provo High School.[5] While on the basketball team, Wesley guided the Bulldogs to state championships in 1994–95 and 1996–97.[4] For his high school career he averaged 21.7 points and 10.8 rebounds and was a three-time all-state selection.[4] Both the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News named him their MVP. Wesley also represented Western Samoa in National Junior Olympics.[4]

He was recruited by universities such as Colorado State, Hawaii, Washington State, LSU, Marquette, Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount.[4] Ultimately, however, Wesley chose BYU and enrolled the fall of 1997.

College[edit]

During Mekeli Wesley's four-year career as a Cougar, he scored 1,740 points and held the school record for most free throws made in a game with 16 (since broken by Jimmer Fredette).[1] As a freshman, Wesley started in 29 of 30 games, was named to the WAC All-Newcomer Team, was named the most valuable player of the Cougar Classic, and held averages of 13.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.[1] As a sophomore, he was suspended for the first semester due to violating BYU rules, but came back to average 11.0 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.[1] Then, as a junior in 1999–2000, he increased his averages to career-highs of 16.8 points and 5.8 rebounds en route to an All-Mountain West Conference Second Team selection.[1]

In his final collegiate season, Mekeli led BYU in scoring at 17.2 points per game and in rebounding at 5.2 per game.[1] For the first time since 1993, BYU won or shared a conference title, and for the first time since 1992 won the conference tournament championship.[1] He was a two-time MWC Player of the Week and at the end of the season was named the conference player of the year.[1]

Professional[edit]

Despite being a viable draft candidate in the 2001 NBA Draft, Wesley went unselected.[2] He never got the chance to compete in the National Basketball Association but he did embark on an international career that ultimately spanned between 2001 and 2010.[2] He played for teams in France, Poland, Spain, Belgium, Portugal and Mexico.[2]

Personal[edit]

Wesley is married to Montell McDonald and they have a son, Keliano John.[4] Mekeli is the older brother of professional basketball player Tai Wesley.[5] Tai, coincidentally, was also named a Division I conference player of the year; in 2011 he earned the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year while at Utah State.[6] Wesley is of Rotuman descent through his father Hiagi Wesley.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Mekeli Wesley". NBA Draft 2001 Prospects. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. 2001. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "MEKELI WESLEY basketball profile". Latin Basket. Eurobasket, Inc. 2010. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Mekeli Wesley". LinkedIn. 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Mekeli Wesley Athlete Profile". BYUCougars.com. Brigham Young University. 2000. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Rayburn, Jim (23 February 2004). "Provo's Wesley is Last in Line". Deseret News. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Utah State's Tai Wesley Named WAC Player of the Year and Stew Morrill Named WAC Coach of the Year". UtahStateAggies.com. CBS Interactive. 6 March 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2012.