Students cope with stress through extracurriculars and talking with friends 

By: Olivia Boyd

St. Bonaventure, N.Y. – Looking out on to the Reilly Center pool in the Student Veterans Lounge, senior Alyssa Magnuson laughed about how she’s changed majors three times.

“I was a biology major but then I failed biology and calculus and I joined Army ROTC and it was all a lot,” said Magnuson. “I switched to education, which has a rigorous track with everything and doing it late would have been impossible. I want to be a teacher, so I switched again to childhood studies because you still get to learn the same material.”

Many students, including Magnuson, said that balancing school and deciding what you want to do with it can be stressful. To cope, many students participate in activities, religion and time management.

“School has 100 percent affected my mental health since beginning college because of the course work. I never really had a problem with managing stress in high school,” said junior Kasey Tokos. “I was able to study for only an hour in high school and now I struggle with just taking a breath and trying to destress.”

Like other college students, Tokos said she struggles to balance school, work, sports, and social activities.

“I am more stressed out than I used to be,” said graduate student Carlie Jacque. “I also stress about the little things a lot more now because I balance graduate school and a job. I get overwhelmed when I think about school sometimes.”

Being a graduate student, Jacque said the work she undertakes has been geared toward her future job, so she believes the stress can be worth it. In the end she does not mind the amount of work.

“School has had a roller coaster affect with my mental health. I am not one to usually stress about stuff, but school has changed that completely for me. I have had my mental breakdowns and panic attacks which is very much out of character for me,” said sophomore Kelly DeGrood.

To manage her panic from school, Degrood goes home, finds an activity to calm her down or practices rugby. She tries to surround herself with people who have similar interests and passions to her own.

Many students on campus said they cope with the stresses they experience from school by participating in extracurricular activities or talking with friends.

“I go to church on Sundays,” said senior Jazmine Clasing. “I make a priority of that. I go to Believers Chapel in Allegany off campus.”

Many Bonaventure students take comfort in religion. Clasing said she believed faith aided her in taking some of the burden of stress off herself because she doesn’t feel alone.

Senior Sara Goodwin, who did not disclose her GPA, said, “Mental health is everything you can’t see or measure. It’s all internal and at the end of the day you’re the one that knows yourself the best.”

Goodwin, like Degrood, said that school can be a roller coaster. However, she has been able to time manage and not get overwhelmed by breaking assignments and responsibilities into smaller pieces and completing at least one task each day.

Freshman Malaunah Jones said she believed students come in with mental health issues but also develop them while at school from being overwhelmed.

“School throws you in a new situation like, here’s a new life and you have to do your best and sometimes your best isn’t enough, because you have to find out for yourself what you want and are held to certain expectations,” said Jones, a biology major.

“Some of the ways that school can affect mental health is experiencing lower self-esteem, self-doubt, and activation of latent mental health issues or problems in the past,” said Amy Mickle, a Bonaventure counselor.

Mickle said, “Old coping mechanisms may not work as previously in the student’s life causing an increase in anxiety, depressive conditions and symptoms like poor sleep, change in eating habits, poor concentration, isolation, and procrastination.”

Bonaventure has many resources for students to use such as counseling services, a student gym, a grief recovery group, a school-provided ministry services, an LGBTQ+ club, and alcohol anonymous meetings.

“I would say Bonaventure helps my mental health,” said senior Erin Brockenton. “After I lost my mom, school has been made easy because of my friends, professors and teammates helping me. It’s not a burden to be back at school. I use the counseling services from the wellness center.”

The wellness center counseling sessions last from 45 minutes to an hour. Primarily psychotherapy, students can speak with counselors, go through books or worksheets or video clips.

Students begin to learn time management skills to not become submerged in stress. Magnuson, whose GPA changed from a 2.1 in freshman year to a 3.3 currently, learned to time manage and destress through exercise with ROTC and playing rugby.

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Chef hopes to bring energy for sophomore season

Forward Tshiefu (Chef) Ngalakulondi 6’7 is ready to make a bigger impact this season. Last season he was seen in 18 games averaging 2.3 points and 1.3 rebounds. He shot 60.7 percent from the floor and 5 for 11 beyond the arc. In the Atlantic 10 Tournament, he finished with four points vs. Davidson. In the NCAA tournament, he scored two points and four rebounds against Florida.

Reporter Keara Donnelly sat down with Ngalakulondi to get his thoughts on his improvements from freshman year and his goals for this season.

The most important thing you learned from freshman year?

“To be confident, to work and play hard because eventually all of that will play off. Also look to senior leadership because they know what they are doing and have been here for a while.”

What goals do you have for yourself this season?

“To contribute as much as I can on and off the court and help the team win.”

What impact do you hope to bring to the season this year?

“I will bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm bring my game and play hard all the time.”

How is this year’s team different than last year?

“This year’s team is more spread out and everyone will have an opportunity to shine. I feel we are ready and we have the experience, new pieces are coming together, and we are adding on and reloading as a team.”

Who is your favorite basketball player?

“Kevin Durant and Jamal Crawford because Durant is smooth with the rock and knows how to create plays for others and himself. Jamal Crawford is a “bucket” because he knows how to go out there and have fun. I see myself being like him because he comes off the bench and just impacts the game. You don’t always need to be a starter to always do well. That is the mind set I have.”

 

 

Photo by Elliott Brown/Media Images International

 

 

Ikpeze looking for continued improvement in year three

By: Teddy Caputo

With Jaylen Adams, Matt Mobley and Idris Taqee no longer on the team this season, the Bonnies are looking for the next player(s) to step up as a leader and be a dynamic scoring options for them.  One guy who is more than ready for that challenge is Amadi Ikpeze.

Ikpeze has been a solid contributor for the Bonnies in the paint over the past two seasons.  During his freshman year, he played in 24 games, averaging 2.3 points per game, 1.9 rebounds per game and 9.2 minutes per game.  In his sophomore season, he played in 34 games and averaged 4.5 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game and 14.1 minutes per game. Ikpeze talked about what he did to improve his game last season.

“I improved mainly by knowing my spots on the court,” said Ikpeze.  “I’ve become more confident and efficient scoring wise, and I’ve continued to learn the system, both offense and defense, to become a better player.”

Ikpeze talked about how he can carry his improvement from last year into this upcoming season.

“I can definitely look back at it by watching tape and seeing what I do good on the court vs. what I do bad on the court and going from there,” said Ikpeze. “Starting the last 14 games of the season definitely gave me a lot of confidence leading into this season.”

The Bonnies finished last year with a 26-8 regular season record, going 14-4 in conference play and having their first NCAA tournament win since 1970.  Their stellar season has many fans expecting them to keep up the performance this year. Ikpeze, however, isn’t worried, saying, “I don’t see any pressure from last year’s season because it is a new season.  We’re 0-0.  We had a great season last year and we did great things like making the tournament and winning the play-in game against UCLA, but we’re focused on being 1-0 at the beginning of November.”

Ikpeze’s confidence going into this season is nothing but a good thing for a new-look Bonnies who have five new players that will need some guidance from the veterans on the team. Ikpeze spoke about his role on the team as a leader and a veteran player alongside seniors Courtney Stockard, Nelson Kaputo and LaDarien Griffin.

“Being the main voices in the locker room, we definitely have to lead by example and make sure we are giving it 100% in practice every day,” said Ikpeze.  “That’s really where they are going to pay the most attention to when looking for what to do right and wrong.”

One new player who may look to Ikpeze for guidance is freshman center Osun Osunniyi.  “You can’t teach height.  That’s what I’ve been told a lot in my life,” said Ikpeze.  “With Osun alongside me this year, we’re taller and will be more of a contribution to our team and a threat to others.”

A game Ikpeze is most looking forward to on the Bonnies’ schedule is against the University of Buffalo in the Reilly Center mainly because Buffalo is his hometown. Ikpeze added, “I’m excited for every game to show people how much better I’ve gotten and show them what I can do on the court.”

Ikpeze will continue to try and show the country how much better he has gotten over the offseason in their next game against Georgia State University in the Cayman Islands Classic on November 19.

 

 

 

 

Picture Courtesy: GoBonnies

Francis looks to make a name for herself at St. Bonaventure

By: Justin Myers 

Deja Francis is one of the five newest additions to the Bonnies and one of the three freshmen.

Francis being able to fill a role the Bonnies needed was one of the main reasons she came to St. Bonaventure.

“I choose St. Bonaventure because it was the right fit for me. As you know their point guard left and I was coming in as the point guard,” said Francis.

She looks to replace former Bonnie and current Oakland guard Jalisha Terry.

The 5’7 guard comes from Queens, New York where she played for Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers. While at Murry Bergtraum she averaged 15 points, six rebounds and two assists per game. She also earned the Rose Classic Academic Award and was a Rose Classic All-Star selection. She had the best free throw shooting percentage in PSAL play and was named “She Got Game” Most Valuable Player.

Former Bonaventure players CeCe Dixon, Doris Ortega, and Armelia Horton also went to Murry Bergtraum. Francis looks to continue the long tradition of Bonaventure players hailing from Bergtraum.

She looks to bring a pass first mentality to Bonnies this year.

“I’m the point guard so I pass first, and I see everything on the floor,” said Francis.

Francis admits the transition from high school to college has been difficult, but it is something she tries to get better at every day.

“It’s been a rough transition, it’s been a lot to remember with all the plays, but I just have to get used to it,” said Francis.

Through this adjustment period she has already taken advice from upperclassmen.

“Be on time, and to take things more seriously,” said Francis.

With the help of her upperclassman Francis is also learning how to be a leader.

“Learning how to be a leader because I’m the point guard. I’m calling all the plays and making sure everyone is in the right spot, so everything runs through me,” said Francis.

As she learns to be a leader Francis has big goals for the Bonnies and herself this season.

“Hopefully we can go as far as we can. It’s my freshman year, so I don’t know what to expect. For myself I hope to make a name for myself in the A-10 and at St. Bonaventure,” said Francis.

Francis gets a chance to make a name for herself as the Bonnies play the University of Georgia Friday night.

 

 

Picture Courtesy: GoBonnies

Osunniyi finds home at Bonaventure

By: Jeff Uveino 

Osun Osunniyi was offered a scholarship to play basketball for NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing at Georgetown University. He was also offered a scholarship by Jim Boeheim to play at Syracuse University.

But instead, the 6-10 forward from Pleasantville, New Jersey, chose to attend St. Bonaventure University and play for head coach Mark Schmidt.

“I felt the most at home here,” Osunniyi said. “It felt like a home away from home.”

Osunniyi attended Mainland high school in Linwood, New Jersey. After high school, he attended Putnam Science Academy prep school in Connecticut, where he led his team to a national prep championship in 2018 and averaged 27 points and 12 rebounds per game.

“Coming out of southern New Jersey, I didn’t play against a lot of Division I-caliber athletes in high school,” Osunniyi said. “Going to prep school got me used to the pace of college play and the length of the season.”

Putnam played 42 games during the 2018 season in which Osunniyi was there. He talked about how prep school physically prepared him to play at the next level.

“I got to play against big guys who were stronger than me, which gave me a taste of what it would be like when I came here as a freshman,” he said.

Osunniyi had originally committed to La Salle University, but as he explained, La Salle parted ways with its head coach during his year at prep school. He decided to re-open his recruitment.

“I talked to my parents and decided I wanted to look for other options,” Osunniyi said. “Bonaventure was one of the schools that called.”

Kyle Lofton, a teammate of Osunniyi at Putnam, had already committed to St. Bonaventure when this happened and saw an opportunity to bring his teammate to college with him.

“My friend (Kyle) who had already committed started recruiting me right away,” Osunniyi said. “So, I came for a visit and I loved it.”

Osunniyi saw 15 minutes of playing time in St. Bonaventure’s season opener vs Bucknell. He had 8 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks before fouling out in the second half.

Osunniyi hopes to bring hard work to the team and be a presence around the rim.

“I want to help this team win games as much as I can,” he said. “I like the guys, and we’re all trying to make each other better every day. I’m confident that if we work together, we can do a lot of things.”

St. Bonaventure continues its 2018-19 season on Nov. 10 with a home game vs Jackson St.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture courtesy:Courtesy:Craig Melvin/SBU Sports Information

Griffin brings experience and versatility to young Bonnies team

By: Isaiah Blakely 

Senior LaDarien Griffin’s St. Bonaventure career started with him averaging 0.5 points per game freshmen year. Now Griffin is the reigning A-10 co-Most Improved player of the year and is looking to carry that momentum into his senior season.

Head coach Mark Schmidt had high praise for Griffin.

“He epitomizes what we try to do at Bonaventure,” said Schmidt. “He came up as a freshman didn’t get any playing time. Most guys especially in today’s environment, they leave… He knew he wasn’t ready yet and he kept on working,” said Schmidt.

Griffin described his first three years at St. Bonaventure as “amazing”. Griffin added that there were, “A lot of ups and downs. A lot of growth on and off the court. It’s just been an amazing experience.”

Griffin averaged 8.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season helping the Bonnies reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament. This year’s team is a much younger team and is no longer led by Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley. The Bonnies are projected to finish 9th in the conference this season which is much lower than their projection last season. Griffin talked about his expectations, and that the only thing that is different is the outside noise is a little easier to handle.

“They always felt the same to me I don’t really listen to other people’s expectations. I kind of go off my own and set my own highs regardless of who’s on the court with me,” said Griffin.

Griffin is looking to help the Bonnies achieve similar success to last season.

“Try to win as many games as possible. Try to get top seed in the A-10 and try to get to the tournament again,” said Griffin. “I feel like that’s everybody’s goal regardless of veteran team or young team. That’s the goal when you come into every season, so you got to work like it,” said Griffin.

Griffin spoke about what the Bonnies have to do to give themselves a chance of reaching their goal of going back to the NCAA tournament.

“Going in with the urgency. You kind of understand what it takes to get a little bit of success and just carry it on to the rest of your life and the game. And I think the urgency is the most important thing,” said Griffin.

Griffin strives to continue to help this team and he talked about what he worked on over the summer to make himself more versatile.

“Shooting. Just trying to get stronger being more versatile. I think that’s the biggest thing probably my versatility to help this team, “said Griffin.

Schmidt talked about Griffin’s versatility.

“He’s shooting the ball better now. We can do a lot of picking and popping with him now. He’s a legitimate four man,” said Schmidt. “But we can also go small like we did last year a lot. He’s long enough to be able to guard that, and he’s stronger then he appears and now we can run some ball screen stuff with him being a five man. That’s hard to guard”

Schmidt also talked about Griffin’s personality as a leader.

“He’s got that personality that he doesn’t think he’s better than anybody. He’s humble,” said Schmidt.

The Jacksonville, Florida native spoke about what it’s been like as a senior leader.

“You can’t have a lot of mistakes,” said Griffin. “You got to try to be perfect, try to do things the right way all the time. For me it’s just being more of a leader to these young guys and show them what we have to do.”

Griffin also spoke about what he wants to be remembered for when his four years are done, and it had little to do with basketball.

“With nothing I did on the court. Probably just that I was able to help other people, bring joy to others just remember me as a person as a student instead of not just the basketball player,” said Griffin.

The senior forward begins solidifying his legacy Wednesday night against the Bucknell Bisons in the Reilly Center.

Oliver’s time in junior college prepared her for SBU

By: Jeff Uveino 

Amanda Oliver is one of five players entering her first year with the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball program. But the junior forward is no stranger to competing at the collegiate level.

Oliver, a 6-1 forward from Orlando, Florida, she played two seasons at Florida Southwestern Community College before transferring to SBU.

She averaged six points per game and eight rebounds per game her sophomore year at Florida Southwestern, and was a two-time all-conference selection. She hopes to bring what she learned in junior college to the Atlantic 10.

“It will help me in the long run,” Oliver said. “I just had so much skill work to work on, as well as the mental aspect of the game.”

Oliver played in 63 games at FSCC, starting 57 of them. The mental and physical experience that she got, Oliver said, will help her game going forward.

“It pushed me beyond a mental point where I didn’t think I could go,” she said. “Having those two years is going to help me and motivate me.”

Oliver hopes to bring a defensive presence to a Bonnies team that allowed 69 points per game last season and only scored 63. She averaged 1.7 blocks per game her sophomore year at FSCC.

“I want to bring hustle,” she said. “Anything I can do to help the team or what is needed to win a game. I love defense so that will be a big part of my game.”

On the offensive side of the ball, Oliver will look to be a factor in what she described as the “run-and-gun” type offense the Bonnies will play. With the regular season coming fast, Oliver talked about some of the things head coach Jesse Fleming and the Bonnies have been working on this preseason.

“We’re trying to score quickly in possessions with layups and transition threes,” Oliver said. “We have a lot of set plays ready so I think we’ll be prepared.”

St. Bonaventure opens regular season play on the road. They travel to play rival Niagara University on Nov. 6.

Stockard is ready for final season

By: Teddy Caputo 

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies had one of their best seasons in program history, having a 26-8 regular season record, a 14-game win streak during the regular season and an NCAA Tournament win against UCLA. Courtney Stockard is the leading returning scorer from last season and is looking to carry his momentum from last year into his senior season.

Last season, Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley made up an elite backcourt for the Bonnies. The duo was a huge part of the Bonaventure’s success last year, but they weren’t the only ones putting up stellar performances.  When Adams and Mobley struggled in some games during the season, Courtney Stockard, a 6’5 junior forward, stepped up when the Bonnies needed him.  He averaged 13.3 points and six rebounds per game in his first season playing for St. Bonaventure.  Stockard had some impressive performances, including 26 points in the tournament win against UCLA. Stockard also had a career-high 31 points in the triple-OT win against Davidson. Stockard talked about his success last season.

“When we needed somebody to step up, I thought why not anybody but me?” said Stockard. “I wanted to try to be that X-factor and next leader that would make the team more dynamic.”

This year he is in the position to step up and do it again, and he says he is ready for that challenge.

“I want to pick up where I left off last year and stay aggressive throughout the season,” said Stockard.

Stockard is one of three seniors this season alongside fellow teammates Nelson Kaputo and LaDarien Griffin. Stockard talked about their leadership obligations as seniors.

“Since we’re the veteran guys, we want to show the new guys on the team how it’s done and what we did to get to the point we were at last year,” said Stockard.

The Bonnies have five new players who are trying to acclimated to St. Bonaventure.

“With this offseason, there’s been a lot of individual work,” said Stockard.  “With us having a lot of new guys, we have to get them up to par, get them used to Schmidt’s system and used to the college game.”

One of the new Bonnies this season is transfer Jalen Poyser. Poyser is a transfer from UNLV. The junior transfer from Malton, Ontario scored 10.4 points and two assists per game in his sophomore season for the Rebels. Poyser is a guy who Stockard thinks can be productive on the perimeter.

“He’s a pretty explosive player, and I think that’s what people are going to find out really soon,” said Stockard.  “With him on the other wing, he’ll be able to take some pressure off me and I’ll be able to take some pressure off him.” Stockard added, “With that, we’ll be able to make a pretty big impact on this team and on the conference.”

Even though the team is young and inexperienced compared to last year’s team, Stockard believes this team has more talent from than last year’s squad and has high hopes for this season.

“We may struggle to start the season, but I think once these guys get going and get used to the way things are in college basketball, we have enough talent to be dangerous come March,” said Stockard. “If everybody hits their stride and I pick up where I left off last year, then I think we should be pretty good this season.”

Stockard talked about games he’s looking forward to on the schedule.

“I think the Syracuse game would probably be the one,” said Stockard.  “They think the game last year was a fluke, so if we could get it done again this year, we can prove that it wasn’t a fluke, that we can play with you guys and that we’re here to stay.”

Stockard gets a chance to lead the Bonnies and pick up where he left off last season in their exhibition game against Alfred University on Friday, Nov. 2, at 7:15 p.m. in the Reilly Center.