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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

to win,

I do it”