Coach Jared Ronai and the MVNU men’s basketball team are well into the 2018-19 season, and the team has been focused on building chemistry since early last summer. “This year’s team is our oldest and most experienced group”, said Ronai, “with this year’s seniors being our first recruiting class. It started in the summer with our annual summer shootout in Chicago and continued with our team retreat in August.” Although the roster is a huge aspect to the success of this team, Ronai wants to ensure other aspects are taken care of .
Along with being a full-time basketball coach, Ronai also takes pride in being heavily involved at home just as much as he is on the court. With the arrival of Kamryn Joy just over a little ago, Ronai now has his hands full with two children. He fully believes family helps him on the court as well. “Our players know that our team focus, in this order, is our relationship with Christ; our family; the team; and then self. Living out those priorities starts with me, and I want our guys to know that being a great husband and father means much more to me than being a great coach. I truly believe that if I am striving to be the best husband and father that I can be, then I can truly pursue being the best coach I am capable of becoming.“
In addition to having such strong expectations for himself, Ronai also expects the same out of his players. “It is by far the most important aspect I emphasize in the recruiting process. I tell our players and recruits in that process that I was a “coach’s son,” and my dad’s players were bigger than Michael Jordan to me.” The idea that the greatest influence is the people around you is evident in Ronai’s life. “For my kids, our guys are going to be on the same level as LeBron James and Steph Curry. So, as a father and coach, I have to seek out high-character people in the recruiting process, because I know my kids are going to be looking up to them and imitating them while they are a part of our program.”
Even with family and basketball keeping his hands full, Ronai still makes time for the most important thing in this life: his relationship with God. “My relationship with Christ is at the core of every area of my life. When Christ is at the center, I really feel that my marriage, family, and career can be at its best.” When asked about tangible things in his life, he added, “I want to pursue Jesus first; and when He is first, my other passions have the ability to flourish. I do this by trying to carve quiet time every day, spending time in prayer, and reading scripture and my “Jesus Calling” devotional. I also love Christian music, and listening to WNZR gives me a boost throughout the day.”
Ronai firmly believes that faith, family and basketball is the best way to live; and when God is at the center, everything else will fall into place.