Throughout the summer, GoBonnies.com will feature interviews with members of the St. Bonaventure men's basketball team and their preparation for the 2017-18 season during off-season workouts. Our next Summer Session features freshman Tshiefu Ngalakulondi.
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – When he committed to join the St. Bonaventure University men's basketball program, the reaction from the majority of fans was similar – and one he was familiar with.
Yes, freshman Tshiefu Ngalakulondi has heard it many times before – the various incorrect and sometimes amusing ways that fans and announcers have butchered the pronunciation of his name.
So, naturally many fans on Twitter and message boards were asking themselves, just how does one pronounce that name?
Fear not, because Ngalakulondi has pinned the correct pronunciation to his Twitter page.
And while public address, television and radio announcers across the Atlantic 10 will have to double check the Bonnies media guide this season, Ngalakulondi hopes that by the time his four years with the program are up that people won't have any choice but to know his name.
The New Hampshire product, whose family moved to the United States from Congo when Tshiefu was five years old, joins the Bonnies after being one of the top-rated prospects in New England, scoring over 1,000 career points for Proctor Academy in Manchester.
One of two true freshmen on the Bonnies 2017-18 roster, Ngalakulondi looks to learn from the team's veteran presence and grow into his role during his first year at the collegiate level.
People sometimes get a little confused about how to pronounce your name when they see it. What are some bizarre ways people have said your name?
My name is pronounced CHEF with a hard 'CH' sound. CHEF ga-la-koo-lon-dee. I've heard a lot of different pronunciations. I've had she-foo, tsh-a-foo, tef-foo. Some people didn't even bother trying to say it. I'm used to it.
Talk about the recruiting process you had. What made you choose St. Bonaventure?
I felt comfortable with the coaching staff. They're welcoming and I maintained a good relationship with them. The campus was similar to my high school and the Atlantic 10 is a great league.
Coming from New Hampshire was basketball the biggest winter sport in your high school?
The high school I went to was big into skiing and hockey. A few teammates and I made a name for the basketball team there, though. We brought basketball back.
What is your game like? What should fans expect to see from your style of play?
I'm a high-flying athlete. I've improved a lot with my jump shot and my ball-handling, that's what I've been working on a lot this summer as well. You won't just see dunks, but the whole package.
What is it like having the opportunity to play with and learn from a couple of All-Conference guards in Matt Mobley and Jaylen Adams?
It's really cool to play with them because I can learn a lot from them to use for the upcoming years. They can pass along what they've experienced and learned through the process. I'm looking forward to learning from them.
What is the biggest thing you're working on to improve this summer?
I'm working on ball-handling, getting my handles crisp and sharp. Also game situations and how to react. Also shooting a lot. I've been improving my jump shot.
What are goals you have for yourself during your first season at Bonaventure?
I just want to impact the team any way that I can. I see myself fitting in well with the guys so I just want to be an impact player.
The blueprint for a lot of players in Coach Schmidt's program is to come in a little under the radar and then steadily improve every season with St. Bonaventure. Does that make you excited about what you can become as a player over the next four years here?
Yeah, definitely. The coaches have a reputation for making players better. That's another reason why I came here. I do see myself improving a lot. I want to be the best that I can and people say the sky is the limit.
Favorite food: Lobster
Favorite TV show: Everybody Hates Chris
Favorite movie: Law Abiding Citizen
Favorite athlete: Kevin Durant
If you could play another sport besides basketball it would be: Lacrosse
Favorite music artist: Wale
Pregame rituals: I usually say a prayer before games and listen to some music to get me pumped up.
If you could trade places for a day with anyone it would be: Probably Wale or Kevin Durant, just to see how they live.
If there was an emoji that best describes you, it would be: The smirking emoji.