Steve Lavin returns to coach Red Storm after season-long absence
"I can tell that I'm closer to being back to a level of health that I was at prior to the treatment," said Steve Lavin. "Naturally I still have to be vigilant on the health front – as we all do when we get older, or coming off something like a battle with cancer.”
Steve Lavin underwent t surgery last season in October and briefly returned to coach the Red Storm for four games before taking-off for rest again after experiencing some physical limitations. While recuperating from the surgery, Steve Lavin took time to put everything in his life into prospect, and came to the realization that although coaching and competing in basketball may be his “passion” there are exist other “more important things” as well.
“(It) makes you aware of how fragile and precious life is,” said Steve Levin.
However, now that he is back, Steve Levin hopes to lead the Red Storm to success in a crucial season for the team.
"I take very seriously what I do as the basketball coach at St. John's," claimed Steve Levin. “I clearly feel in a better place in terms of my stamina, my strength, my conditioning…and (the) opportunity I've been given to work with this group of players in such a historical program."
Red Storm played a remarkable season last year with limited number of proven players on the roster and practically no bench earn a 13-19 record, including a 6-12 performance in the Big East. The roster was packed with young talent since it accommodated an unusually large number of graduating seniors the year before, aside from desertions and a few recruits’ ineligibility issues.
St. John’s assistant coach Mike Dunalp, who filled in for Steve Lavin led Red Storm past last season with no more than six scholarship players – comprising of five freshmen and a recent junior transfer.
Mike Dunalp has now moved on to the NBA and is currently head coach with the Charlotte Bobcats, but the Red Storm players are excited to welcome their former coach Steve Lavin back to the team.
"He brings energy, he always brings energy," expressed sophomore guard D’Angelo Harrison. "Just having him around, it just makes everybody almost have another chip on their shoulder… So we're ready to go."
"Totally different," sophomore guard Phil Green said of the new atmosphere of the team. “It just makes you feel good that you have your coach back."
And after Red Storm added seven fresh names to the roster this season (hosting “eleven freshmen and sophomores”), Steve Lavin is increasingly optimistic about his future coaching his career’s “youngest team”, which began by signing with St. John’s in 2010.
"We're now closer to what I envisioned when I took the job over in 2010," said Steve Lavin. "We're probably a year ahead of schedule in terms of our personnel.”