By Rob Abruzzese
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The St. Joseph's College basketball program may not have the prestige of St. John's University’s, but it's a solid Division-III program that is on the rise, with a brand-new arena and a tradition that it is already quite proud of.
One of the things that the Clinton Hill college is most proud of is senior David Louison, who will graduate this season as one of the best players in the program’s history.
“He's a 1,000 rebounder, 1,500 scorer — he's going to keep doing him,” said teammate Michael Megafu. “He's a crucial part to this program, and I'm happy to play with him. I played with him, [and] I played against him in high school. He's a great player. He's smart all around and versatile in everything he does. I'm just glad for him.”
Louison, who has just five games left to play, plus playoffs, will leave the school ranked first or second all-time in 14 different offensive and defensive categories including second all-time in scoring (currently he has 1,544 points) and first all-time in rebounding (currently at 1,101).
But Louison doesn’t want to talk about how many games he has left — he refuses to look at a schedule to find out, and he won’t dwell on personal accomplishments at this point either.
“The personal stuff, I can look at that when it's all over,” Louison said. “It's too soon now. Every time I think about it, I try to put it out of my mind as quickly as possible. I want to focus on what we have here because I don't want that to affect my teammates, or how I play, in anyway.”
Instead, Louison hopes that his accomplishments can help the school and the basketball program grow even further.
“I'm grateful,” he said, deflecting the attention. “I haven't heard that too much, but it's super humbling. I'm hoping that something like that can pave the way for the future of the program so that somebody else can surpass me. It just opens it up for players who want to come here [and] play for St. Joseph's.”
Louison currently has a 3.9 GPA. He has worked in the U.S. Attorney's office since his sophomore year in college and plans to work as a paralegal for a few years after he graduates before starting law school.
His coaches love what he does on the court and in the classroom — but mostly they love how he rubs off on his teammates.
“The most important thing about David is, he works as hard in practice as anyone else,” said his head coach Joseph Cocozello. “When he works that hard in practice, nobody can slack off. That's really where Dave has been so instrumental. Of course everything he does during games is huge, but as a coach I know that every day, every guy is going to go 100 percent in practice because he won't accept anything less.”
That’s why his coach and his teammates are determined to win the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship this year. While that
is the goal every year, winning would serve as a special parting gift for Louison.
“I want him to go out on top,” Cocozello said. “David deserves for us to give 100 percent during every minute of every game and practice from here on out. Anything less would be a disappointment.”