HELENA — Carroll College senior Ife Kalejaiye, a southern California native, wasn’t sure what to expect when adjusting to Montana’s winter weather when he first arrived in Helena.
“It was tough, I‘m not going to lie,” Kalejaiye said. “At first, I thought snow would be just perfect little cotton balls. Then I’d go outside and it just slaps you in the face, and you don’t know what’s hitting you. I’m wearing three layers. I’m wearing sweats under my jeans, because I’m just not used to it. But I’ve gotten better.”
The thought of moving to a cold weather state didn’t really cross Kalejaiye’s mind until his childhood friend influenced him to make the trek up I-15 to Carroll College.
“One of my childhood friends, Lorel Johnson, who graduated last year, he came here and we’ve known each other since first grade, played basketball together in first grade,” Kalejaiye said. “He came here the year before I came, so it was nice to kind of get that feeler out to see what Carroll was like, the program and everything. They still wanted me after I did a prep year, and I ended up coming here, and it worked out.”
Kalejaiye missed the first part of this season with an injury, but he’s getting his legs back beneath him. He scores nearly 12 points per game and makes more than 46 percent of his 3-pointers.
As far as the winter’s bitter cold, he said he’s grown a light affection for it.
“I’m actually appreciating it, because growing up in (Los Angeles) my whole life it’s something we don’t see,” said Kalejaiye with a smile. “Being able to be here and see it firsthand when other people haven’t seen it, I’m low-key appreciating it.”