Harouna Mutombo…Off the basketball court

Harouna Mutombo, is a well known name at Western Carolina University and the fans of WCU Men’s basketball team.

Who really is Harouna Mutombo on and off the court? He’s not just a talented basketball player from Canada. WCJ spent some time with Mutombo, following his schedule, to learn more about him.

During basketball season, a regular day for Mutombo starts early with classes from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and study hall and lunch in between. At noon, he watches films of his team’s basketball games along with other colleges that WCU plays against. Watching basketball film as he says improves his skills on the court as it prepares him for future games.

“Film doesn’t lie. It shoes my faults and what I am doing well at on the court. It helps with becoming a better overall basketball player. That way if a situation happens in a game my mind has already seen it and will be able to react.”

In the afternoon, Mutombo has weights, followed by basketball practice until 7 p.m. after which he cools down and at 8 p.m. his day is over.

In contrast, a regular day for Mutombo off season is more relaxed with time for boxing, weight lifting, conditioning, and a workout on the basketball court.

His busy schedule while in season is motivation for him off season.

“My busy schedule keeps me full and on my feet, I love it…that’s why offseason I work out so much to keep myself busy. I don’t know what life will be like when I stop playing.”

Since age 3, Mutombo is surrounded by basketball. His mother, Muenda Mutombo, played basketball and his uncle, Dikembe Mutombo, played in the National Association Basketball (NBA) team the Denver Nuggets. He also has another uncle who played basketball in France and Germany. Though being surrounded by basketball, Mutombo’s family history is not what had an influence on him.

“It’s a passion of mine. My family’s history has not had too much influence on me. But it’s definitely in my family and made us all closer because it’s more to add on to the things we have in common.”

It was Mutombo’s choice to continue to play basketball.

“As I grew older and my skills developed I really fell in love with and I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

With basketball, school, and the attention I asked if he had time to enjoy college in general.

“I don’t get to enjoy college so much while in season. But off season I do.”

Another factor that his busy schedule effects is relationships. Due to his schedule now, he is not in a relationship with anyone.

“Being in season from November to April and being busy from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., on top of that I have games on weekends, when I finally do have time off I just want to rest. I don’t have time to dedicate to another person in a relationship right now. But I will make time for the right person,” jokes Mutombo.

And off the court he is a very simple guy.

“I don’t go out much as far as partying goes; I just like to rest and relax.”

And watch movies. His favorite movie is “The Dark Knight.” As a smile lit up on his face one could tell that he does enjoy this movie. He likes it because, as he explains, it relates to his life and pushes him to success.

“It’s about life. When you’re doing well, people will try and stop you. So you live to be a hero or you live long enough to become a villain…which is everybody else. So you have to keep pursuing what you’re doing.”

Along with movies, Mutobomo likes to play tennis and checkers.

Though Mutombo does enjoy his down time, he also enjoys his love for basketball as this is what he wants to keep pursuing.

“I definitely want to play professional basketball and make some money. I want to retire by the time I’m 35. I should have made enough money by then.”

Not only does Mutombo want to continue to professional basketball, he also wants to make an impact on future students pursuing the same dream.

“Once I’ve build a foundation for myself, I definitely want to help other children with basketball camps as well.”
Basketball and school are Mutombo’s main focus right now as he is half way through this season. As his season comes to an end, his name will still be attached to basketball. But the sport isn’t everything. As he gets further in life and his career, he wants people to know him as other important factors besides his sport.

“I want to be known for being a good guy, at least to the people who know me. I want to be known as being a hard worker, that guy who puts all of his energy in whatever he is passionate about. I want to be that person.”