Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Junior seven-foot center Efton Reid has made a huge impact for the Demon Deacons since he was ruled eligible by the NCAA after a two-time transfer waiver appeal was granted in early December. He’s averaging close to a double-double and is second on the team with 19 blocked shots while becoming a dominant defensive presence in the paint.
Deacon Sports Xtra recently caught up with Reid for this Five Questions feature.
On the emergence of fellow big man Zach Keller
Reid: “It’s been really good because everyone gets on him at times, but I like the positive side. I’m like, Zach, you can do this, or you can do that. His whole growth has been very good for him because he’s starting to figure it out — he’s only a sophomore. People can get on him for messing up on the court, but I tell him, just stay down until you come up, man. Just keep going, just keep grinding, keep up your shots, keep doing the little things — that’s what matters. And people are starting to see more aggressive play on the court with his rebounding and defending the post, and he’s done such a great job and I applaud him for that because that’s nothing but him. That’s all his hard work that he’s put into this season.”
How has the adjustment to Wake Forest gone so far?
Reid: “This might sound kind of strange, but I haven’t really faced many tough adjustments. I really can adapt in any situation. I’ve lived in two different places, two completely different places, and I adapted well there. Here it’s just like everyone always thinks – oh my gosh, Wake Forest is such a hard school, but I’ve kept a positive GPA throughout the two high schools I’ve been at, and Gonzaga was no push over school either. For me it’s just like whatever environment I’m put in, I can adjust and adapt. So for me, it hasn’t really been anything, honestly. I really don’t do much aside from play basketball, go to school and just talk to my family. I’m kind of a simple person. I don’t need much.”
What do you do when you’re not on the basketball court or the classroom, and what have you read lately?
Reid: “Not much, not going to lie, relax, chill out, read some passages. I don’t do much. Honestly, I’m kind of a boring type of guy, but I like to live a simple lifestyle. I don’t really do much. Probably watch some shows on Netflix, but I haven’t done that in a minute.
“I read this manga (Vagabond) last year about this dude who’s a vagabond. It’s about this samurai who fought 70 people, but it’s a really, really good book. But it just shows you how, from a philosopher standpoint, how he went through so many challenges and tribulations and at the end he’s just one. So, I like to read little books like that. Not too much.”
How has the Wake Forest basketball staff changed versus how they were in the recruiting process?
Reid: “I mean, they haven’t really changed, to be honest. They’re all authentic. Honestly, it’s just on the visit I told them what I need to work on, they told me what I need to work on as well, and I really felt like this was a good spot for me, not just basketball wise, just all around the board and stuff. And basketball wise, they really sat down and had really good intrinsic film and stuff for me that I was good at and I needed to work on, and I really liked how they were really focusing on what I need to work on as a player rather than what I was doing well. So that was really a big impact, but they’re all the same, honestly. Everyone always thinks certain college coaches around here change and stuff, but these guys, they haven’t changed since the day I met them. They’re the same way. So that’s really a good, easy transition for me as well.”
You were named a team captain before you were even eligible to play at Wake Forest. How did you develop these leadership characteristics? 
Reid: “I think it’s because of the position I’ve been put in since I was young, just being me stepping up and being a leader and just me being held accountable by my mom. I think that’s why I am a good leader. A lot of people think I’m just outgoing. I stand up for what I believe in though, and if this is what the team needs me to do, I have no choice but to step up and I’m willing to take on that challenge.
“It’s just my mom. She’s the head of our family and I was not in charge, but just that role model for my younger brothers and stuff. So, I really feel like that’s what helped me along with my process too, as well as just getting to teach my brothers whether I was watching them or whether I was teaching them a life lesson. Just the little things in life — just what matters. That’s what I’m starting to realize as I mature and grow up.”

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