By: Nan Turner, VCU Athletic Communications Student Assistant
Sitting courtside at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas one member of the VCU men's basketball family watched as Black & Gold family took the floor to compete against Butler in the NCAA Men's Final Four on April 2nd. However he wasn't on the bench waiting to be put in the game, he was in the stands.
Former Ram forward Wil Fameni traveled to the Lonestar State to watch the Black & Gold and cheer on the senior class, who were all freshmen the year Fameni graduated.
"It was a great sense of pride being associated with VCU and the basketball team," Fameni said. "If I could say something to this year team, it'd be: 'You've saved the best for last.'"
However, Fameni's favorite moment of the NCAA Tournament, and his trip, did not occur while watching a game. He was moved by the way the fans supported the team, no matter the outcome.
"As a player, I knew that VCU has some of the best fans in the entire country but the support that was present in Houston at the pre-game party was amazing to witness," Fameni said.
Although he graduated in December 2008, Fameni still gets recognized around Richmond for his time with the Rams, something that always makes him smile. He lives and works in the City and attended all the home games this season, as well as some away.
Fameni came to VCU in 2006 as a transfer from Arizona State. He played during both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons under former head coach Anthony Grant. As a student in the School of Business he graduated with a Master's in Accounting.
After graduation he started to work for MeadWestvaco (MWV), a company that works for packaging and packaging solutions as well as operating additional business for shareholders, in March of 2009. He was offered a spot in the Company's Supply Chain department as a Co-Op.
A day at work at the busiest times for Fameni could include gathering data coming from all parts of the world (Australia, Malaysia, Hong-Kong, China, Argentina, Brazil, Switzerland, and Canada to name a few) and compiling them into useful format for analysis and then reporting his finding to Corporate accounting. On an average day he works to improve and enhance the different analysis tools used by his team of co-workers.
Fameni decided to go into finance because of his background as an international student (he moved from Cameroon to Norfolk, Va. in 2001 and spoke only French).
"Finance and numbers are pretty much universal," Fameni said. "Meaning that if I had to leave the U.S. I could still get a job anywhere else and it'd still be familiar territory."
According to Fameni, his classes at VCU laid the foundation for his job in the sense that it familiarized him with the different terms and requirements for the position he now holds. This helped him get acquainted with the business world without being thrown into it blind. Throughout his time in college two professors (Dr. Ben Wier, Cost Accounting, and Dr. Kenneth Daniels, Finance) stood out to Fameni and taught him lessons he still carries with him today.
Outside of finance and business, basketball the other part of Fameni's college life. He said the most memorable moments from his time with the Rams was winning the regular season and CAA tournament in 2007, as well as that victory over Duke that some of you may have heard of.
He saw action in 35 games and started in 29 during the 2006-07 season. Fameni finished that year with 313 points, averaging 8.9 per game. His senior year he played an average of 17.7 minutes per game finished his career with the Rams with 426 points in just two seasons.
As a member of the squad he learned that the key to success is preparation; something he thinks the team takes into account now.
"I think the first class attitude that VCU has displayed during my time as a player has continued and considerably been taken to a new level," Fameni said.
Thanks to the Internet and social media, Fameni still keeps up with some of his former teammates including, Calvin Roland, Jamal Shuler, Eric Maynor, Jesse Pellot-Rosa, and Franck Ndongo.
Despite his success in his career, Fameni still considers himself a Ram and sometimes it's those days that he misses the most.
"[I miss] the camaraderie with my teammates, competing for a common goal and the care-free attitude that sometimes surrounds campus life," Fameni said.
While students should enjoy their time in school, Fameni urges them to always, "Be passionate about what you want to achieve in life."
It's that kind of self-motto and drive that has gotten him exactly where he is today.