Alumni Athlete Focus: Marlon London, St. Joseph High School, University of Kansas and DePaul University

Marlon London at Kansas | Submitted
Marlon London at Kansas | Submitted

We’ve started a new feature on The Doings that looks at alumni from our area’s various high schools that played sports at the major college and/or pro levels. This edition features former St. Joe’s, Kansas and DePaul men’s basketball player Marlon London.

Birthplace: Chicago

Current profession: Student advocate/assistant boys’ basketball coach

Graduating class: 1998

Age: 34

Q. When did you start playing your sport and why?

A. I started playing my sport at age 7 because I heard of Dr. J (NBA hall of famer Julius Erving) and watched him a few times and figured I’d like the game.

Q. What did you enjoy most about playing at your high school?

A. I enjoyed my teammates and the high competition level we played against on a nightly basis.

Q. At what point did you realize you’d be able to play in college (and the pros, if applicable)?

A. My sophomore year I grew 7 inches and everything became a lot easier. Coach Riley and his assistants called me into a meeting and told me I have an opportunity to play big time basketball if I do what I’m supposed to do in the classroom as well as the court. It really wasn’t until then that I thought about it.

Q. What was the transition like between playing in high school and in college?

A. The transition to The University of Kansas was pretty rough at first because there’s nobody to lean on but yourself; as a player and young man you have to get over that quickly. The discipline and work ethic I learned at St. Joseph prepared me for that.

Q. Did you have a mentor/s that helped you along the way? If so, tell us a little about him/her.

A. To be honest my parents didn’t really know a lot about the game so I relied on my coaches. My uncle Abraham Morgan was my mentor in the classroom, he was a successful businessman in the Chicago area and he always told me to focus on my studies. The coaches here at St. Joes really were my mentors when it came to the game of basketball beginning with coach Ryan, Riley and (Gene) Pingatore.

Q. What are you doing now and does anything you learned in sports at St. Joe’s still impact you today?

A. I work in the academic support center at St. Joe’s, as well as assist Coach Pingatore with boys basketball. In the academic center I work in a team setting with Kim Hunt, as well as Susan Pierson, so teamwork is always important. Playing and now coaching at St. Joe’s prepared me to work in any given workplace or setting because nobody gets where they want to go without the help and support of others.

Q. Looking back on your experience from St. Joe’s through your current situation, is there anything you would change?

A. I loved my St. Joe’s experience, it was one of the best times of my life! If I could change anything it would be the laid back demeanor I had most of the time. Coach Pingatore told me that was the one thing that he felt would keep me from my ultimate goal. Other than that it was a great experience!

Q. Anything else you’d like to say?

A. Believe in God, as well as yourself, and it will take you a long way!

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