At this time every season, basketball teams are touting their senior players’ stats or highlighting the closing of a veteran’s great four-year run during their collegiate career. But at St. John’s, there is a sophomore player who already has shown major contributions.
Joy McCorvey, a second-year forward for the women’s basketball team, has shown tremendous growth as a player and leader on and off the court. McCorvey’s contributions on the court do not usually show up on the stat sheet or in a spectacular play that may get highlighted in an article; instead, they are the intangibles that shift the momentum of a game in her team’s favor.
“If you’re not really involved in the game, you really don’t [notice her],” said head coach Kim Barnes-Arico on McCorvey’s hard work that has gone unnoticed. “She’s a special type of player.”
St. John’s first got a glimpse of the assiduous McCorvey last year, in her rookie season, when she recorded her first career double-double against Iona, posting 12 points and 10 boards. Because of her work ethic, McCorvey earned a starting position in 26 of the 28 games she played in. This season, as of Feb. 13, McCorvey is averaging 5.9 points in 23.4 minutes a game and is leading her team in rebounds with 5.6 boards.
“She does a tremendous job,” Barnes-Arico said. “Last year was good and she has improved her game and is tougher and more physical.”
At the start of this 2007-08 season, McCorvey received her most rewarding accomplishment thus far in her collegiate career: being asked to be one of the tri-captains of the team in only her second year of college ball.
“My proudest moment so far would have to be when coach called me into the office and wanted me to be captain along with Kia [Wright] and Tiina [Sten],” McCorvey said. “She asked me if I can handle it and I said, ‘Yeah, I can handle it.’
“It’s been really fun. It has its ups and downs and it has been challenging, but I’m glad I got the chance to be captain.” Since then, McCorvey has been taking her leadership role seriously, being the voice to help the team get together, as well as giving energy and committing to practice hard every day.
McCorvey’s love for the game started when she was young, playing basketball with the neighborhood boys and also as a member of an organized team at the Brewton, Ala. area YMCA. “I’ve always been a tomboy and playing with the boys,” McCorvey said. “There were mostly boys in my neighborhood and we would get together and play.”
A very long way from her home in Brewton, McCorvey has found a way to gel with her surroundings, enjoying the competitive nature of the Big East, appreciating the support of the coaching staff and getting along well with her teammates.
“It’s like my family away from family,” McCorvey said of her teammates and coaching staff. “I definitely don’t regret my decision [choosing St. John’s].”
McCorvey loves St. John’s and New York. In her spare time when she’s not studying or playing ball, McCorvey likes hanging out with her friends and shopping in the New York City area stores.
As an education major and a business minor, McCorvey aspires to be both a teacher and a coach in the future. Her academic background at St. John’s, combined with her innate leadership abilities, will give her the tools to be an effective mentor inside the classroom and onto the hardwood.
With the upcoming departure of seniors Wright and Sten due to graduation, sophomore McCorvey and the three current juniors on the team will have their hands full leading the Red Storm next season. It has been said by some coaches around the country that the best thing about freshmen is that they’ll be sophomores the following year. McCorvey definitely has proven that statement this year by stepping up her game from her rookie season. She has shown a promising future for her next two years of eligibility.
But Barnes-Arico saw the potential in McCorvey way back when she was being scouted two years ago.
“During the recruiting process we saw she wasn’t the tallest or the most offensive-minded [player], but she did all the intangible things,” Barnes-Arico said. “We knew she would be a special fit for our program.”