Lavon Long’s Love Of The Game Paying Off For Siena


Siena’s Lavon Long is a player who truly loves being on the court. He has started in 27 of 29 games for the Saints in his rookie season and has been a steady, consistent contributor to the team’s success. He was recognized for his play on Monday when he was named MAAC Rookie of the Week.

“Well deserved Rookie of the Week. He does a lot of the dirty work so he deserves it,” said Siena coach Jimmy Patsos.

Long has filled up the stat sheet on a regular basis. He is third on the team in scoring, blocks and steals and fourth in rebounding and assists. He has averaged 10.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists in the last 11 games.

“I’ve always said he reminds me of, I call him Ron Artest because that’s who he was when we played against him at Maryland vs. St. John’s,  Metta World Peace. He just does a little of everything. He just helps you win the game,” Patsos said.

As the Saints are headed down the final stretch of the regular season, Long played a key role in two  wins this past weekend, a 67-63 upset home win over Manhattan, and a solid 69-60 road win at Rider.

Against Manhattan, Long hit a field goal mid-way through the second half to give Siena the lead and grabbed two big rebounds in the final minute and a half to secure the victory. His toughness and gutsy play were on full display throughout including a head-over-heels tumble over the first row in attempt to save the ball, much to the delight on the Times Union Center crowd.

“The guy said it was cool that I jumped over him and the only reason I did was I couldn’t stop,” said Long. “And, I saw the look on the little girl’s face and she looked terrified so… I can’t hit her now. So I just jumped over her.”

At Rider, Long overcame a lackluster scoreless first half and finished with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 block. After Patsos pointed out his need to up his game during the halftime break, Long responded and took over the game in the second half.

“He just put up that I had no points on the board. I didn’t like that so it was motivation. He was absolutely right. I didn’t really contribute, 2 fouls and zero points. I had to do something to help the team.”

At 6-6, 234 pounds, Long loves to mix it up and use his body on the court. He just loves the game itself and nothing gets him more fired up than when the ball is tossed up.

“The excitement, the adrenaline rush, everything’s moving fast and you’ve got to think on your feet. Also you’ve gotta outplay the other team. It comes down to your pride and integrity. So that’s what I enjoy about the game.”

His approach to the game fits in just right with his head coach who has asked that his team play hard while having fun.

“Have fun and win. That’s pretty much my mindset. If I’m not having fun then, I’m probably not gonna win. And winning is fun.”

Once the game is over, Long would much prefer to watch a movie than watch another college or NBA game.

“If I’m watching it really makes me want to play,” explains Long. “If I’m in a room watching and I can’t play it gets me anxious for no reason. It’s just not interesting really. My favorite pro team would probably be the Heat just because my mom likes the Heat and she talks about them a lot. So if I had to pick, that would probably be the one.”

“Lavon’s really cool to coach,” Patsos said. “He’s an interesting guy. He has a lot of other interests besides basketball and I enjoy that. We don’t talk much basketball, Lavon and I. That’s what makes him an interesting kid.”

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