Today: May 29, 2024

Team manager has impact for Owls basketball

Photo courtesy Southernctowls.com
Senior Kevin Maloney has been the men’s basketball team manager for the past two seasons.

PAT LONGOBARDISports Writer

Last season during the final practice before their first Northeast-10 Conference tournament game in nine years, the SCSU men’s basketball team saw their team manager Kevin Maloney walking toward them and onto the court at Moore Field House.

Maloney had his face painted in SCSU colors because he was trying to pump up the team for their game.

Meanwhile, his forehead read ‘GO OWLS,’ but backwards. The team could not stop laughing, but this moment made it easy to forget about anything on the court.

This was part of the fun atmosphere Maloney has provided for the Owls team over his time around the team.

“Kevin is one of a kind,” SCSU men’s basketball head coach Michael Donnelly said. “He is a special kid and he is a great asset to the program.”

Maloney is a senior at SCSU and is in his second season as the Owls team manager. Maloney joined the Owls last year when a new head coach came to Southern as well.

Maloney said since last year, he had wanted to help out and be a part of the basketball team. He said he was suite-mates with Owls senior forward Kieran Ramsey and that Ramsey helped introduce him to basketball more, and then he introduced him to Donnelly.

“I love basketball,” he said. “I used to coach with my dad for recreation basketball and my brother was on the team. It was great experience and I wanted to follow that up.”

His responsibilities as the team’s manager included setting up for practice, helping use the game clock for drills and sweeping the court for the team. He also stays after practice to help rebound for the players who want extra time to shoot around.

Maloney said his favorite professional basketball team is the Boston Celtics. Maloney is the son of parents Derik and Susan and he has a younger brother, Spencer.

“My mom is caring, so I try to be caring,” he said. “My brother is a strong person and has great integrity.”

Maloney has a lot to juggle between his time with the team, taking classes, and working another job as well. Although there is no doubt he is living through one of his passions.

Maloney is expected to graduate in May of 2012 with a major in liberal studies and minors in exercise science, nutrition and psychology.

“It is kind of a lot,” he said. “I try to be positive about nutrition. I used to be the water boy which helps with staying hydrated. I try to help as a much as possible. I don’t want to get them (players) off of their rhythm or what they eat.”

Ramsey said the team really enjoys having Maloney around and that he has been a huge part of the team’s success.

“Kevin is dedicated to the program,” he said. “I do not know what it would be like without him. We enjoy his presence. He is always around and he is always helpful.”

Donnelly said the entire staff has a good relationship and Maloney really relates to the players.

“He is one of the guys,” he said. “They see how hard he works. He is a good guy deep down. He is a great fit with the coaching staff. We have eight new guys, and he has stabilized things for us. They (the team) know he knows the expectations.”

SCSU assistant coach Mike Makubika said, “Kevin is a great person. He has helped us out tremendously and he has sacrificed a lot to be here. He brings a certain energy onto the floor. He will be tough to replace. Whatever he does, he will be successful and he will always be a part of SCSU basketball.”

Usually on game days, Maloney brings an iPod into the locker room and will play music to help get the team pumped up before a game.

“I try to be as positive as possible,” he said. “I like the players. We have some great recruits with strong personalities. Coach Donnelly is a great person and is really smart about basketball. He has a great philosophy.”

Donnelly said he was happy to help Maloney be part of the team. Donnelly said he talked with Maloney about coaching again one day, and he would support his decision.

“He’s (Maloney) got a head start,” he said. “He connects to it (basketball). He has my recommendation and Mike’s, which goes a long way. We can vouch for him and the things that he did.”

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