Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

John Mooney Named Notre Dame Captain

December 13, 2018

Notre Dame lost a captain when senior Elijah Burns transferred earlier in the season, and head coach Mike Brey announced on  Thursday junior John Mooney has officially been named a captain. 

It’s not a surprise for Brey and his staff to make the move as the 6-foot-8 forward has raised his more than a few levels this season. 

Entering the year, Mooney was averaging 4.5 points and 3.3 rebounds per game, and through nine games, the Florida native is putting up 11.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. 

“I’ve been proud of John Mooney,” stated Brey. “We named him a captain. We talked about it since we got back from Los Angeles. He’s been great as a leader and helping the young guys. I’m thrilled with how he’s playing. He’s getting more and more confident.” 

Mooney leads the ACC in rebounds per game and double-doubles (5), and he’s becoming more confident with each game. 

“My confidence is at an all-time high right now,” explained Mooney. “It's a testament to the coaching staff and my teammates for putting me in the right spots. 

"On the glass, it's really about determination and grit to go get the ball to do whatever I can do to help the team win.”

The opportunity to be named a captain wasn’t lost on Mooney as he was well aware of the prestige the title brings.

"It's a tremendous honor to be a captain at the University of Notre Dame,” Mooney stated. “I don't want to say pressure, but it puts a little more precedent to lead these guys with my voice and actions. I'm excited for this new role. It's a challenge, but it's a great opportunity." 

Brey’s decision wasn’t based off purely production as Mooney had been leading Notre Dame’s freshmen all year. 

"It's just more about using my voice more,” Mooney said. “I’ve been around this program for two and a half years. I know the ins and outs. I know exactly Coach wants us to do. 

"We have five younger guys for me to use my voice more to be the vocal leader." 

As one of the few players with experience, Mooney will also be counted on to be the voice to Brey and his staff off the court.

“In a lot of our team meetings, I’ll ask their feedback,” Brey said. “Johnny is one of the first guys to give me feedback. He’s a junior and been in our program. The one thing about him is emotionally he’s really steady throughout the game. I think that can help as we endorse him as a captain now.” 

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