University of Virginia first-year Elijah Gertrude is a 6-4, 180-pound athletic guard, who averaged 14.3 points as a junior for Hudson Catholic Regional High School in 2021-22. He earned All-State second-team honors and is a three-time All-Country first-team honoree. Gertrude missed his senior season due to an injury. He was ranked No. 70 in the On3 rankings when he signed his National Letter of Intent last November.
“Elijah caught the eye of so many schools because of his completeness and athleticism,” Dean and Markel Families Men’s Head Basketball Coach Tony Bennett said. “He has enormous upside on both ends of the floor.”
Gertrude recently discussed the start of his first year with VirginiaSports.com.
Why did you choose to come to Virginia?
Gertrude: I chose Virginia because it’s a great program with an amazing culture. The coaching staff is one of the best in college basketball. They really buy in to their player development and help players grow as men. Outside of sports, it’s one of the top academic schools in the entire country.
What is the best part about playing at UVA so far?
Gertrude: The best part about playing at UVA so far is being able to learn and develop under Coach Bennett and the rest of the coaching staff. As well as being able to learn from more veteran players. The love we receive from current students, alumni and fans is off the charts.
What can fans expect from you this season?
Gertrude: They can expect a hard worker and someone that is going to do what is best for the team on and off the court.
What NBA player do you model your game after and why?
Gertrude: I do not really model my game after an NBA player, but my favorite player growing up was Derrick Rose.
What has been the best moment in your basketball career so far?
Gertrude: I would say just being able make a choice as to where I’m going to play my years of college basketball. Having the opportunity to display my talents at this level is a blessing. I made it to this level and now the work continues.
Do you have any pregame rituals or a go-to pregame meal?
Gertrude: My pregame ritual is listening to music and getting my head in the correct place before the game.
If you could play one other sport besides basketball, what would it be and why?
Gertrude: I would play football. I played football growing up just trying to always stay busy. I played quarterback, wide receiver and safety.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Gertrude: I enjoy playing video games with friends and family. I find that it is easy to relax and take my mind off everything else.
Use one word to describe your shoe game.
Which teammate is the worst at NBA 2K24?
Gertrude: Probably Blake Buchanan or Christian Bliss .
If you could swap lives with a teammate for a day, who would it be and why?
Gertrude: I would swap lives with Jordan Minor. I don’t really have too much of a reason for why.
Who would play you in a movie?
Gertrude: Keanu Reeves. In any John Wick and Matrix movies.