football Edit

QA with Mount St. Marys Jamion Christian

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Last week, Mount St. Mary's University of
class=SpellE>Emmitsburg, Maryland and the Northeast Conference announced
the hiring of Jamion
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Christian as its new Head Basketball

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Christian, who turns 30 on April 18th, has Virginia
roots.  He was a player at New Kent High
School in 2000, helping lead the team to an undefeated season and state title.
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  Following that, Christian went on to play
College Basketball and graduated from Mount St. Mary's in 2004.
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  He was a player there for
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Milan Brown, currently the Head
Basketball Coach at Holy Cross. 

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>After assistant coaching stints in the CAA at William
& Mary and VCU, where he was a member of
normal'> Smart's staff this past season as the Rams won 29 games and
reached the NCAA Tournament, Christian
returns to his alma mater.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'> recently caught up with Coach
Christian for a One-on-One, Q&A session that you can check out below:

Speak on what it means to you to be the Head Basketball Coach at
Mount St. Mary's?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It's an unbelievable challenge
to restore the basketball tradition here at Mount St. Mary's.
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  It's a place where both Coach Phelan and
Coach Brown have had tremendous success. 
It's a chance to follow in their footsteps sort of speak and restore
glory.  It's really a tremendous
opportunity and challenge, which I'm thrilled to be apart of."

style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  Who have been the main influences in your
life and the early part of your coaching career?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"My story is one that
comes from very humble beginnings.  My
mom and dad were both teachers for over 30 years in the Virginia Public Schools
system.  What I hope that has given me is
a workmanlike mentality.  My father gets
up every day at 4:30 in the morning and does Driver's Ed for the schools system
and always does it with a smile on his face. My dad also was a six or
seven-time All-American in the 100 and 200-meters and obviously is the athletic
person in our family that always wants to achieve greatness.
style='mso-spacerun:yes'> I take from him that you have to work hard,
love what you do and really take that approach and mentality not just some of
the time, but every day to be successful. 

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"My mother has worked in the Special Ed program for
over 30 years and really worked herself up to the top of her profession.
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  She's just been so compassionate.
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  She's really the cerebral one and when I was
younger really instilled in me to counting my free-throws, making sure I'm
consistent and little things like that will take you a long way.
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  When you have a background of hard work,
striving for excellence and compassion, I think it's a really good combination when
you mix it in a team sport, and I'm just so thankful for their support."

style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  What's the recruiting strategy looking like
for you and the program at Mount St. Mary's, and will the state of Virginia continue
to be an area that you recruit?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I'm going to draw a map
and draw a circle around D.C,, Maryland and
Virginia.  Obviously the Central Virginia
area and the Tidewater area have been a great area for Mount St. Mary's
recruiting-wise.  Also when I was at
William & Mary and VCU, those were two areas I recruited very heavily.
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  Mount St. Mary's really encompasses both
areas that I've recruited for the majority of my career, and I'm really looking
forward to re-connecting and stayed connected with coaches and AAU coaches in
the area that I've worked closely with for seven, eight years."

What really drew you to this job?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"The chance to give back
fully.  When you're a basketball coach,
you're most used to a life of poverty.  It's
not like you're going to give back in the way of a financial gain most of the
time.  But a chance to give back with
your knowledge, your passion and your energy towards a program is something
that can last for generations.  The
challenge of being able to do that, I was fired up to come back."

Let's say you are talking to a recruit who doesn't know all that
much about Mount St. Mary's, but could be interested in your program.
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  What are your selling points to them on why
they should come there?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We're looking to play
fast, aggressive and fun basketball.  If
you're a guard and you want to get up and down, play with a ton of freedom and
a ton of energy, then this is going to be a place for you.
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  If you want to go to a place where they run a
lot of sets and half-court plays, we probably don't fit you as well.
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  But our main priority is to get up and down
and play at an extreme pace for 40 minutes. 
We want to wear our opponents down, and that's our shear focus.
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  We're going to recruit athletes that want to
do that and really take pride in separating themselves from their opponents."

Some people will look at you being hired and say he's a young guy,
probably not as experienced as some candidates, but you've certainly learned a
lot from the people you've been around, such as Coach Brown at Mount St. Mary's,
Coach Smart's style with the havoc and so forth at VCU and even at William &
Mary with Coach Shaver.  Do you feel like
the mixture of those styles you've been around will help, and what have you
taken from them that you want to apply to your situation now?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It all started for me in
High School playing for Ed Allen at
New Kent who at the time had amassed over 400 victories.
style='mso-spacerun:yes'> Then going on, that really attracted me to
play for a guy like Coach Jim Phelan,
who obviously has over 800 wins and a wealth of knowledge.
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  The one thing I've noticed from playing under
these guys and coaching alongside these guys, people like
normal'>Bob Johnson,
normal'>Shaka Smart,
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Pat Flannery and
normal'>Tony Shaver is that in order to win you have to have 100% buy in
everything that you do every day within your program.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"You've got to be about winning and each person defines
winning differently.  I think winning
encompasses a tremendous amount of enthusiasm, a tremendous amount of energy
and a tremendous amount of communication. 
Each of those guys kind of defined it in a different way, and that's the
way I define it.  When you do those three
things, you're going to have an outstanding season".


others are saying about Jamion Christian:

think he's got a great perspective on the game, and it's different, much
different than anyone else on our staff because of his background and who he's
worked for. That's always something you invite. You don't want to bring someone
in that has the exact same views as you and knows the same things as you
because then they basically become a 'yes' man. Jamion's
brought up a bunch of interesting ideas that the rest of us haven't thought
of." - - Shaka
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Smart, VCU Head Coach

class=SpellE>Jamion is one of the young and talented coaches in our
business. I have always liked Jamion's leadership
qualities, basketball IQ and his passion for the game. He is going to bring a
ton of competitive energy to recruiting, practices and game preparation. I am
extremely proud of Jamion and can't wait to see him
walking the sidelines at the Mount." 
- - Milan Brown, Holy Cross Head

font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";color:#444444;mso-ansi-language:EN'>"When he
was hired, I think a lot of the guys were excited to have somebody younger and
a player's coach.  I think we're all on
the same page as far as having a younger coach and more energetic person as our
leader.  I think his player development
skills will help me out a lot as well as a lot of the other guards." - -
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Julian Norfleet,
Mount St. Mary's sophomore guard (Landstown HS

115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>
serves as State Basketball Analyst for
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>,
part of the Network.  Check
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Hatfield's Twitter page
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'> for more sports related updates,
and you can also read his work in the
line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;
text-underline:none'>Suffolk News Herald
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  To contact Matthew, please e-mail
line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, and don't forget to listen to him
on the Hour every Saturday at 11AM on
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>ESPN Radio 94.1
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>
plus watch him on the
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Cox 11 Sports Report
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>.

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