S T U D E N T AT H L E T E
In October, Lycoming College’s eighth-year men’s basketball head coach Guy Rancourt talked about the
first time that he met John Monkam. It was in the winter of 2011 and Monkam’s DuVal High School team
had just lost a playoff game to Bowie High School. Rancourt joked that Monkam didn’t seem interested in
talking after the loss.
Four years later, Lycoming’s 2015 homecoming king was a key part of the men’s
basketball program’s improbable run to a MAC Commonwealth Championship
because of his intangibles
an always positive attitude, work ethic, and his ability
to overcome adversity.
“Whatever my team needs me to do to win, I do it,” Monkam said. “That role
may adjust year-to-year or game-to-game, but keeping a positive outlook on what I
can do to help the team win is important to me.”
A three-time team captain, the versatile player played every position
Rancourt could dream up for him
something that Rancourt is quick to
point out as central to the team’s success, especially during Monkam’s
senior year when he led the team to the NCAA Division III Championship
and a 19-10 record.
“His leadership qualities show in everything he does,” Rancourt said.
“What position John plays is what position we need him to play.”
That attitude is something that has opened new horizons for the
Lanham, Md., native. As a sophomore, he headed to Estonia for an
international tournament with the USA East Coast All-Stars,
coached by University of South Carolina head coach Frank
Martin and assisted by Rancourt.
He played with players from Syracuse, Iowa and Arkansas
during the trip. “It was an eye-opening experience. I got to see
how Division I athletes play, and I got to see that they put on
their socks and their shoes the same way I do every morning.”
At the end of his junior year, the political science major
and French and corporate communications minor took an
opportunity to do an internship with Paradigm Companies.
Even without a business background, he finished the internship
with the second-most properties leased. On campus, Monkam
was president of the Black Student Union, a member of the
student senate and the recruitment chair for Lambda Chi
Alpha, not to mention the countless athletic events he worked.
“Getting out there and meeting new people, asking
questions and being put in uncomfortable situations for your
own growth,” Monkam said, “I find that very important.”
a team needs
me to do
I do it”