One of only two returning players to start at least one game last season for the University of Louisiana Munroe men’s basketball programme, Travis Munnings has been thrust into a leadership position as a sophomore.
Munnings, fresh of his first appearance as a member of the Bahamian senior men’s national team, will join senior guard Nick Coppola as the only returning Warhawks players with any semblance of experience for the upcoming 2016-17 season.
“Being one of the leaders on the team they watch me, they listen to the things I say so it starts from Nick and me. Once we key on something the rest of the guys will do the same thing. We have to just stay together as a team and keep fighting all season. A lot of people wish they had this opportunity so we have to take advantage,” Munnings said, “I have to get in the gym, get up a lot of shots so I can make big shots in big moments. I’ve been working on my ball handling skills so I can have more control over everything I do. I just want to be more skilled overall for every situation so I have to work on everything to help to get us to where we need to be.”
Munnings made an immediate impact last year in his freshman season with the Warhawks. He appeared in every game with 18 starts and averaged 7.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting 50 per cent from the field.
He is one of two Bahamians on the Warhawks roster along with senior guard Prince Cooper.
Cooper appeared in 18 games and averaged 2.5 points per game.
The Warhawks finished just one game shy of an automatic NCAA Tournament berth, but eventually lost in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship.
“Last season was tough, we had a great year and the way it ended it doesn’t take away from what we did, but losing that game was heartbreaking. I still think about that game to today and it just made us more hungry. It motivates us more and puts a chip on our shoulder to get back to that point and make it to the dance. I think we have a great chance to make it there I really do,” Munnings said, “We are trying to make it to the tournament. That’s a major key, the number one goal for the year. I have personal goals and I have to bring it each and every day and it starts in practice so when it comes to the games it’ll be easier. Ultimately I want to be first team all conference on offence and defence.”
This year look for Munnings to be an improved ballhandler and shooter as he makes the transition from energy player off the bench to full-time starter.