Graduate student Javon Baumann has excelled not only on the Saint Joseph’s men’s basketball team but in the classroom at Saint Joseph’s University as well.
It has always been the German native’s goal to come to the United States and play basketball. But the determination and hard work he’s put in in the classroom are equally important to him.
“That was always my goal: come to the States, play basketball, and study at the same time,” Baumann said.
Last year, while he and the SJU basketball team were winning an Atlantic 10 championship, he was also busy getting his food marketing degree.
This year it’s not much different. This season will be his last playing for the SJU basketball team, and he is also working towards his MBA in international business.
“It’s an honor being selected by my teammates and having the opportunity to even be a captain,” Baumann said. “Even if I was not selected, I would have talked to everyone the same way. For me, personally, it doesn’t change who I am as a person.”
Baumann finds it interesting that he is now one of the oldest players on the team. It doesn’t seem that long ago that the forward came over to play basketball and study at SJU.
Playing basketball and going to school at SJU for five years has provided Baumann with a plethora of experience, and he’s been passing it down to the younger SJU players.
“You tell them about your experience and how we do things at SJU, what the coaches expect and being able to manage their way around the team and in school,” he said.
In his five years at SJU, Baumann couldn’t narrow down his favorite memories. Of course, winning two A-10 championships are right up there.
“Also, being on campus and knowing a lot of people on campus,” he added. “There are so many great people on campus and it’s been a great environment at SJU.”
As for what he would miss the most, Baumann said he is always looking forward to something new and interesting. And while he is going to miss Saint Joseph’s, he is excited about moving forward.
Right now, his goal is to play basketball overseas, most likely in Germany, to see what he can achieve there and then afterward move on.
“Ultimately, I would like to open a restaurant one day,” Baumann said. “Having a degree in food marketing and an MBA in international business is helping me move in that direction. It’s helped me to understand that business and about owning a company.”
As for what kind of restaurant he wants to open, Baumann isn’t sure.
“There are so many good restaurants in Philadelphia,” Baumann said. And every time he goes to one he can see himself opening one just like it.
Even five years later, Baumann still gets the same nervous and excited emotions before an SJU basketball game. Playing in front of the fans, and even if family and friends come to watch, hasn’t changed the way he feels on game day.
Looking back on his decision to leave Germany and come to the United States, not just to play basketball but to obtain a degree and an MBA, Baumann doesn’t regret it.
“I could not have made a better decision,” Baumann said. “After finishing high school in Germany, it was a big move, but I was never afraid of going to the States and being here. Looking back at everything, it was worth it, especially achieving my bachelor’s degree and the success we had in basketball, and the connections I’ve made here.”