Yonathan Napoleon (‘18) has been a standout player on the men’s basketball team throughout his time in the Forest, but it seems as if this may be his most remarkable season yet. He was named Landmark Conference Athlete of the Week following his performance against Wilkes and Catholic. Napoleon averaged 31.5 points and four assists over those two games, helping lead the Rangers to victory against Catholic for the first time since 2011. With a record of 3-3, 1-0 in the Landmark Conference, Napoleon described the season as a learning process. He says “We have played so many close games already that are teaching us valuable lessons about our team and what we need to do to win come playoff time.” He commented that some of the players have had injuries, so others have had to step up, but added “we will work as a team and continue to find ways to win games.” If their victory against Catholic is any indication, they are prepared to take on even their toughest opponents throughout the season.
Napoleon did not come to Drew only for the basketball opportunities, as he says, “the truth is that I wanted to experience something new. New state, new friends, new team, new chapter in my life. I chose Drew because it had a beautiful campus with a real college feel to it with access to New York City.” The business studies major has not been able to study abroad due to the constraints of the basketball season, but still loves to travel. If he were to spend time abroad, he would choose to spend time in either Spain or Japan.
During his time on campus, Napoleon has stayed busy, especially due to the hectic basketball season. He said the biggest challenge of being a student athlete is managing his time well. Comparing the transition from high school to college, he said:
Coming to college is a major step for all student athletes due to the increased free time. This free time is actually just a façade though. During high school, everyone is more or less on the same everyday schedule of going to class from 8-3, going to practice, then going home to eat, do homework, then to sleep. There is less actual time spent in class in college. Everyone has different schedules so the biggest challenge has been to find the right study habits and time management tricks that cater to your individual schedule and lifestyle. It gets overwhelming at times stressing over school and exerting so much energy on the basketball court, but it is all a part of the grind.
Looking forward to the rest of his season, Napoleon holds high expectations for his team, saying that their goal for the season is to bring home a Landmark Championship. He is excited for the rest of their season, and said, “Our team has a special opportunity this year. This is the hardest working group I’ve been apart of and I truly believe that we will find a way to accomplish our goal of a Landmark Championship. It’s going to be a fun journey and the best journeys are those experienced with the whole community. Ranger Up!”
Napoleon and the rest of the team will be back in action on Sunday, December 10 down the road at St. Elizabeth.