Catching up with MoJo

Thursday, November 29th

Fitzsimmons: "It was a good start to the roadtrip for the UVM men's basketball team on Wednesday night as they came in here to the Charles E Smith Center and beat GW 69-53. Now on Wednesday afternoon, I got the chance to talk to UVM head coach John Becker and also GW coach Maurice Joseph, a UVM product and 2010 graduate to talk about their relationship and share some memories."
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"Mojo, the first thing I wanted to ask was how did you end up at UVM? I know you were at Michigan State, you're a Montreal native, was it being closer to home, was that a big factor for you?
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Joseph: "Yeah a big part of it was being closer to home, Montreal being an hour and a half away. But it was also the winning tradition that was in place at the University of Vermont. I wanted to transfer to a school where it was close to home, but that I have a great chance of winning and doing something special and fortunately we were able to do that in my time there."
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What was it like for you going from Michigan State where obviously making the NCAA Tournament is kind of a minimum expectation to going to UVM where it's kind of the pinacle of what you guys can accomplish and your senior year, you're able to do that?
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Joseph: "Winning a championship in the America East is extremely special and it wasn't just myself, I had great teammates, a great coaching staff and we were able to do some pretty special things so just a really special time, my time at UVM and really fortunate to do it with the people I did it with."
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We've got a member of that coaching staff right here next to you in coach Becker, what was your relationship like during your playing days?
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Joseph: "He was always the guy you could go to as a player, he was always down to Earth. Pushed you and held you accountable, but really relatable. Really good at developing guys on and off the court.Had a great feel for people and great feel for relationships so that's a good reason why we're good friends now. He's a mentor of mine to this day and he's done a tremendous job of building the program."
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Coach Becker, what was it like to coach Mojo?
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Joseph: "Go easy on me now."
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Becker: "It was a pleasure. The minute you met him, you just felt his spirit and his energy and he's a special, special guy and to coach him, he was so passionate. I remember when he first showed up that first summer from Michigan State and that Big Ten, hard fouls, gave nothing free in pickup. Started a few fights I think that first summer figuring out how to adjust to UVM but one of my favorites. We were close when we were there and we've been close since and I'm really proud of what he's been able to accomplish."
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Did you kind of know he was going to be getting into coaching at that point, did he give you that vibe?
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Becker: "I mean he loves basketball and that's where his passion was and you hope that people can follow their passion. Whatever he was gonna do, he was gonna be successful and I'm so glad he found coaching because he's a great mentor for student athletes and he's a self made guy, and that's what I respect."