After playing three seasons as a part of St. Peter’s Division I basketball team, senior Markese Tucker decided to take his talents to Ramapo for his last year of NCAA eligibility.
When head coach Chuck McBreen got a phone call from his close friend at Long Island University Post about Tucker’s desire to transfer colleges, McBreen reached out to Tucker. After talking, they decided Ramapo “ended up being a great fit.” McBreen named Tucker as a captain for the 2014-2015 season.
Tucker started playing basketball when he was five and now stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs 240 pounds.. He believes that his Division I experience can bring a lot to the table for the Roadrunners this season. He says that through his maturity of playing quality minutes at the highest level, he knows what it takes to win.
“Me being the team captain, it’s a challenge for me, but at the same time it’s also a great feeling because I get to spread some wisdom and teach the younger guys what I’ve been taught through my personal experience,” Tucker said.
As captain and one of 15 new players who are still getting used to McBreen’s coaching philosophy, Tucker demonstrates his leadership through example and verbal communication.
“I don’t yell at my teammates,” Tucker said. “I’m not that type of guy. I’d rather just talk to them, literally just talk to them and have good communication.”
McBreen spoke highly of Tucker, saying that he has embraced the leadership role and is going to be a great addition to the team going forward. The Roadrunners’ first game this season against Wesley College on Saturday confirmed McBreen’s feelings.
“I saw a lot of his leadership when adversity hit in the second half of our season opener down at Wesley College — when we blew a 12 point lead and fell behind by three,” McBreen said. “Markese showed his leadership by keeping the team relaxed and maintaining a positive attitude, which ultimately improved the team’s confidence to win a game in a tough environment against a nationally ranked opponent.”
Tucker said his biggest motivator for facing everyday obstacles, including the usual college course load and sacrificing his free time to commit to his team, is to become a better athlete every day.
“I take pride that I’ve already played three years of college basketball and I want to finish my career on a good note,” Tucker said. “Saying that I did that and at the same time getting my degree — my motivation every day is knowing that I am expected to uphold a certain responsibility, so when I don’t feel like practicing or doing something, I know I have to do it because I am looked up as an example and leader.”
Tucker attributes a lot of his support to his mother, who he said was the reason he started playing basketball, and he believes would not be where he is today without her. His advice to the underclassmen on his team is that every day is a new day to get better as a person and as an athlete.
“Always try to help the next guy. Always be professional in how you carry yourself. Always be respectable. Always compete and work hard, because one day your college career will come to an end,” Tucker said.
McBreen said that he was thankful that he got a phone call and that Tucker decided that he wanted to study and play basketball at Ramapo.
“As a result I got a great player, a great young man and a solid leader,” McBreen said. “It worked out perfectly.”