- NCAA Tournament Returning To Albany
- Hayley Winter Signs With Siena
- Siena Basketball Hands Out Year End Awards
- Willem Brandwijk Transferring From Siena
- Clareth and Degnan Named Siena Captains
- Jackie Benitez Leaving Siena
- Siena Beats Monmouth: What Happened At Half Time?
- Postgame Comments Following Siena Semifinal Win Over Monmouth
- Siena Marches Into MAAC Semifinal With Win Over Fairfield
- Postgame Comments Following Siena Win Over Fairfield
Javion Ogunyemi Is Right At Home At Siena
- Updated: July 8, 2013
For Javion Ogunyemi the recruiting process was at times a bumpy road. A skilled big man who had a successful career at Troy High School as well as with the Albany City Rocks AAU program, he drew attention from a wide range of schools. In the end the road led right back to his own backyard in Loudonville, a short ride from his hometown of Troy, NY.
After recovering from a severe ankle injury at the end of his junior year, Ogunyemi, a 6-8, 230 lb. forward, was ready to put the process behind him. He narrowed his choices last fall to Siena and James Madison, coached by former Siena point guard Matt Brady and his assistant and former Siena Head Coach Mike Deane. Ultimately, he opted to play for Siena and signed his letter of intent in November.
“When I first made my decision I knew I wanted to stay close to home” said Ogunyemi. ” I was comfortable with the staff and they told me I had a chance to play right away.”
With his recruitment seemingly over, Ogunyemi was able to focus on finishing his high school career strong, averaging 18 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game and leading Troy to a sectional title and state semifinal appearance. However, his future again became uncertain with the firing of Siena head coach Mitch Buonaguro following this past season. With the announcement of Jimmy Patsos as the replacement, Ogunyemi was faced with having to reevaluate his options.
“It was tough at first because I really didn’t know how coach (Patsos) was” explained Ogunyemi. “I didn’t really know him. I mean I had heard of him but once I got to meet him, I got more comfortable.”
After finding that comfort level with Patsos and once again considering Siena’s close proximity to home and the small campus feel he was looking for, he chose to stick with his commitment to play for the Saints.
Now on campus, his career as a Saint is underway. He and fellow freshmen Lavon Long, Marquis Wright and Mike Wolfe as well as sophomore transfer Patrick Cole are currently on campus getting their first taste of academic and basketball life at Siena. Along with the newcomers, many of the returning players are also on campus learning and adjusting to their new coach and leader of the program, Patsos. For Ogunyemi, his new coach strikes the right balance with his unique style.
“He’s funny” Ogunyemi said. “He just tells a lot of jokes. He’ll be in a serious moment at one point then he’ll tell a joke and make everybody laugh.”
With Patsos at the helm the soft spoken Ogunyemi describes what he feels fans can expect from him as he takes to the court in fulfilling his role on the team.
“I can play inside and outside” describes Ogunyemi. “I’m unselfish. I make a lot of team plays, smart plays. I play good defense. I do whatever I have to.”
Ogunyemi welcomes the fact that he has been guided in the early days as a Saint by former Saints Ryan Rossiter and recently graduated OD Anosike who have offered their advice on being a well-rounded student athlete a Siena.
“I talk to Ryan and OD” said Ogunyemi. “They tell me what Siena fans expect from the bigs, tell me to keep my grades up and be a good person and make sure you work hard on the court.”
In the offseason, Ogunyemi explained that he is working on improving his strength and athleticism as well as improving the consistency of his jump shot. He is looking forward to the work paying off particularly on November 8th when the Saints take on U Albany on opening night at the Times Union Center.
Ogunyemi described, “I’m actually looking forward to just playing in the game (Albany Cup) because growing up from this area you always see the game on the news and I went to a couple of them. So, I think it will be fun.”
Based on what he has seen from the new crop of players, former Saint Ronald Moore is hopeful that Ogunyemi and his classmates will have a significant impact. He along with other former Saints including Rossiter, Anosike and Kenny Hasbrouck have come back to take to the court to both challenge and mentor the new group.
“I think the freshmen class definitely has some talent” said Moore. “If they work together and really buy into the team game and work hard they will have a turnaround season and get this program back to where it needs to be.”