The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Courtside: 1-On-1 with Ron Mvouika

The Torch sits down with St. John’s graduate transfer Ron Mvouika, who joins the Red Storm after missing almost all of last season at Missouri State with an injury. However, he brings a much-needed veteran presence to a young, rebuilding program.

The Torch: What was the biggest reason you decided to come here to play out your eligibility?

Ron Mvouika: “Coach Mullin, New York City and Madison Square Garden. That was an easy choice. For me to come out for here my last year and play in the Big East, it was only right for me. It was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”

The Torch: What has the transition been like, especially since you missed all of last year due to injury and this is your first time playing in almost two years; and, now, you’re in one of the tougher conferences in the nation?

Ron Mvouika: “I’m just trying to keep working on my body, trying to get stronger and better. The biggest thing is not the basketball aspects so much, it’s get my feeling back, my game back and my confidence back. Get back to getting used to the game and play. So far, I’ve been doing a great job with the coaching staff, medical staff and everybody, and I’m going to keep working.”

The Torch: What do you really enjoy about playing under Coach Chris Mullin?

Ron Mvouika: “The freedom. We got a lot of freedom to do whatever we want as long as it’s structured and under the sets. He really boosts your confidence, doesn’t tear you on bad shots. He’s a coaching player [players’ coach]. He’s easy to communicate with, he’s always willing to give you some tips, willing to mentor, and that’s really positive. You don’t see that kind of coaching style around the country.”

The Torch: As one of the few guys on this team who has real experience at the NCAA basketball level, how do you set an example for the younger players?

Ron Mvouika: “I try to talk to them as much as I can in the locker room or in the game. I got to make sure to do the things that don’t show up in the stat sheets. Communicate, talk, make sure everybody’s on the same page, be the guy in between the coaching staff and the players. Let them know what’s going to happen, use my experience to our own benefit. Just making sure I keep this mentoring position in order for us to be successful.”

The Torch: Even just as a mentor, you’re still planning on having a big role on the court in the game, right?

Ron Mvouika: “Yeah. Then again, I’m still a basketball player. I gotta do what I gotta do. I’m not so much worried about the amount of points I’m going to have or the amount of rebounds. I just play the game how it comes. I take what the game gives me and that’s it. I’m not in a rush, none of that. I’m just going to do my job to the full extent for us to get a win.”

The Torch: How does the team stay positive through a lot of the adversity you’ve faced and you’re going to face going forward?

Ron Mvouika: “You’ve got to stay positive. What happens in the past stays in the past. We’ve got to think about Friday either way, win or lose. Regardless, we’ve got to keep moving forward, don’t let it affect you. Now, we know what to do, what to correct and we improve. We can’t get worse anyway.”

The Torch: What’s the most important thing this team needs to focus on in order to improve?

Ron Mvouika: “I think the little stuff, outside of basketball. Just stay calm. Just stay calm, play under control. Turnovers make you lose games. It’s really just controlling the game because they’re careless turnovers. It’s not like their defense makes us turn the ball over it’s just us being lax. The little stuff like take care of the ball, play with confidence, bring your whole energy. That type of stuff. That basketball aspect is only going to get better.”

The Torch: Who is your favorite player?

Ron Mvouika: “Well, my favorite player is Carmelo Anthony, but my game is nothing like him. I try to watch the Spurs. They’re the type of team where it’s veteran, they move the ball well, everybody moves the ball and everybody knows their job. They’re the kind of teams I look up to. I like to watch [Stephen] Curry and them [the Golden State Warriors], but I can’t do what they do. Point is for me to try and study their game.”

The Torch: What are some of your favorite things to do off the basketball court?

Ron Mvouika: “Listening to music a lot. I listen to a lot of music; I do a lot of reading. Just relaxing. I like watching movies too. Soccer, I watch soccer.”

The Torch: So, these are some things you like doing to get away from basketball a little bit?

Ron Mvouika: “Yeah, obviously I stay watching NBA games and the college season. It’s oh-so important to have something to break away, not to overload. We eat basketball. We sleep basketball; we do everything basketball. So, it’s good from time to time to get away from it a little bit.”

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About the Contributor
Brandon Mauk, Digital Sports Manager
Digital Sports Manager:  Brandon is a senior going for a major in  journalism major and a minor in history. His goal is to expand The Torch's online presence for publication's sports coverage, increase the section's social media presence, and work on online stories every week even for week's with no printed issue. [email protected] @TorchSports

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