“Kevin brings tremendous energy and toughness everyday to our team. He is an honors student with great leadership qualities that his teammates and our staff have tremendous respect for.”
“Kevin had a 4.0 [GPA]…That’s why he got some playing time over other guys.”
– Coach Patrick Chambers
Meet Kevin Montminy, a sophomore guard for Pat Chambers’ men’s basketball squad who also happens to be a member of Penn State’s prestigious Schreyer Honors College. Hailing from nearby Centre Hall, Pennsylvania, Kevin attended Penns Valley Area High School where he was a standout athlete in both basketball and football, as well as valedictorian of his class and president of the student council.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Kevin to discuss everything from his academic life to his experiences playing for Coach Chambers to [ladies, read on] his current relationship status:
Onward State: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself – where you’re from, what’s your major, what are your career aspirations, etc.?
Kevin Montminy: I’m from Centre Hall, Pennsylvania which is about 20 minutes away from the Bryce Jordan Center. I grew up a huge Penn State fan and have come to games my entire life. I’m in the Smeal College of Business and looking to major in Finance. With that degree I want to become an investment banker or financial analyst.
OS: You had an offer from Carnegie Mellon and were recruited by UPenn and Princeton to play football. What made you pass up those schools — and football — to play basketball at Penn State?
KM: Whenever I got the opportunity to play at Penn State, it was something that I couldn’t pass up. With the great mix of high-level athletics along with a great business school, I decided this would be the best place for me and for my future. Not to mention I have been a Penn State fan all my life and wanted to make sure I took advantage of the opportunity to be a Nittany Lion.
OS: You went to high school at nearby Penns Valley – did you grow up a Penn State basketball fan? Did you ever imagine that you’d end up playing basketball here?
KM: Being only 20 minutes away from the BJC, I went to a lot of Penn State games, both football and basketball, which made me a Penn State Athletics fan of almost every team. After going to so many games, my dad and I had once talked about the possibility of playing here, but I mostly thought of it more as a dream than reality. So when I was offered a spot on the team, it was an amazingly humbling experience that I was extremely excited about pursuing.
OS: How do you find time to balance your schoolwork and your athletic commitments?
KM: It is definitely tough to balance those two, but I have to thank our academic advisor Dr. Sue Sherburne and my coaches for being very flexible and helping me in any way possible. Especially in season when we are traveling a lot and games take up a lot of time, I make sure to plan ahead so that I don’t get too far behind. My professors are also very helpful when I have to miss class for an away game and I appreciate that a lot.
OS: Do any of your teammates give you a hard time about being a Schreyer scholar?
KM: No, they all think it’s great, actually. Whenever we are talking about something academic, however, they might say “ask Kevin or Alan [Wisniewski],” but besides that they don’t give me a hard time at all. They actually support me a lot and are there when I might need any help.
OS: How do you feel you contribute to the team even on nights when you might not see playing time?
KM: Coach Chambers is huge on passion and energy and because of that he is always telling us that we need a great bench that is involved in the game and energetic. When I don’t see playing time, I try my best to be energetic and help my teammates out with anything I see, whether it is on the sideline during a possession or during huddles, by simply giving them encouragement. Everyone on the team needs to be all in and I think we do a great job with that even when we aren’t seeing playing time.
OS: As you said, Coach Chambers is a very passionate coach; he seems like he can get pretty heated on the court. Have you ever been on the receiving end of one of Chambers’ more enthusiastic outbursts?
KM: [Chambers] is definitely a very passionate coach, which is one reason I love playing for him. Without even knowing him you would be able to see how much he cares about this team, his players, and this program because of the way he acts and how much energy he brings to each game, practice, and film session. Any time that he gets that enthusiastic on the court, we all know that he only wants the best for us and is trying to allow us to be the best team and players we can be.
OS: Any favorite moments thus far in your career here?
KM: The Illinois game last year when Tim hit the floater with a few seconds left and Jermaine blocked the final shot was probably my favorite moment thus far in my career here. The student section was great all game and gave us an amazing home court advantage that really fueled us. I also remember this game especially because we had a combined team effort where we played hard Penn State basketball for 40 minutes, and I’m looking forward to having many more of these moments to come.
OS: For our female readers, Kev – are you single?
KM: [Laughs] That is a great question and all I have to say is that there is a special someone out there.
OS: I hope your SID is OK with this question, since it is obligatory as per Onward State tradition – what is your favorite dinosaur and why?
KM: I would have to say a velociraptor because I always thought they looked really cool and were always the fastest.