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Man-terview with Mario "Crypto Klaxon" Donaldson

10/24/2013

Recently, the NNU Man sat down with Mario Donaldson, a transfer student from Rockton, IL who came to NNU to play basketball but found a whole lot more. He's what some might call "epic," "charming" and/or "dashingly handsome," but the NNU Man just calls him "awesome."

The NNU Man 
So let's start with your basics: name, year, major, hometown, etc.
 
Mario 
My name is Mario Donaldson. I am a senior and a kinesiology major. I’m  from Rockton, IL and play basketball here at NNU.
 
The NNU Man 
And you transferred to NNU, right?

Mario
I went to a community college for 2 years. I had a very successful basketball season there where I was an All-American. At that point I was only looking at DI schools, but God seemed to close every door. One evening my dad got a call from an Idaho number and it was the coach here at NNU. He used to play with my dad with Athletes In Action. He told my dad he worked for a Christian school and wanted me here in Idaho. The next day I flew out on a visit and signed within 2 days.
 

…The community of believers at NNU... was something I had never experienced before.

The NNU Man
That's awesome! So what first brought you to Idaho and NNU was basketball. What have you found that has kept you around?
 
Mario 
The beautiful smell of the sugar beet factory of course! But seriously, the strong community of believers at NNU—from students to coaches and even staff all being Christ like examples—is something that I had never experienced before. Even though I come from a different culture and I'm a totally different ethnicity from the majority at NNU, there is no doubt we are all family.
 
The NNU Man 
Very cool. And you even stayed in Nampa over your first summer, right?

Mario 
Yes, I did not go home once throughout the whole school year, which was tough because I am very close to my family. We talk daily! But I knew that the things that God was doing in me would affect my life forever. That did make the decision to stay in Nampa for the summer something that caused some pain in my family. But God’s grace worked things out and brought my family and me closer than ever!
 
The NNU Man 
That's great to hear. So Mario, rumor and many NNU fans claim that you can do something that every young man dreams of doing once they turn, like, 4… And that is a little bit of the slamma jamma. Dunktastic action. Slampage Jackson. Is this true?
 
Mario 
(Laughing) Yes I can, but I assure you there are guys on my team that were made to Slamma Jamma!
 
The NNU Man 
But you indeed also have the mythical skills of slamania dunktown.
 
Mario 
Yes I do!
 
The NNU Man
How old were you when you first dunked?

Mario
I was a late bloomer, so I dunked for the first time my senior year in high school; and the more I grew in college and stronger I got, those abilities grew also.
 
The NNU Man 
Like a superhero!
 
Mario 
Super Mario, Duh!
 
The NNU Man 
BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE. That guy also had springs! Except he punched a lot of boxes and slid down flagpoles. He also leapt over a lot of walking mushroom guys.


 
Mario 
Right, great game! I remember...
 
The NNU Man
Speaking of which, if you could be driving down the lane and had to rise up and dunk over a defender, who would you feel most insanely awesome dunking over: Rambo, Mr. T, or Thor?
 
Mario 
(Thinking) Definitely Mr. T. I would have to go over him and the mohawk. And rumor has it that it is nearly impossible to clear!
 
The NNU Man
But… he probably couldn't jump to contest with all those gold chains around his neck!

Mario 
True, but can you imagine the glare I would have to overcome?
 
The NNU Man 
So true. The mohawk argument is clearly superior.
 
I could talk about dunking all day, but let’s switch gears a bit. I’ve also heard you helped with some stuff at your church this summer. Can you talk a little about how that went?

Mario
Yeah, it was my first time ever helping out with any type of ministry. I was blessed with the great opportunity to connect with the amazing youth and children at our church. God is definitely calling me to do ministry work in some capacity in the future.
 
The NNU Man
Do you have one highlight that gives an example of what you were doing?

Mario 
I would, for example, organize games to play with the kids that assisted with their lesson. Once, we played a game of freeze tag in which the only way to get “set free” was if one of the “prophets” whispered in your ear,  “God is with you.” It was a lot of fun.
 
The NNU Man 
That's awesome!

Let me ask you a serious question though. After spending time with all those kids, how many five-year-olds do you think you could seriously take in a fight? And for the sake of argument let's pretend they’re zombies and you have no need to show mercy.

Mario 
(Laughing) I’m embarrassed to say I've thought about this recently because of a Seinfeld episode! I would have to say 25.
 
The NNU Man
25! That seems like a lot of niños. What's the rationale? Superior athleticism? 

Mario 
One mean right hook!
 
The NNU Man 
Let's kick this up a notch. You've got to dribble down a full basketball court and back. How many five year olds playing a full-court press you do you think you could maneuver through?
 
Mario 
At least 50! Can I run them over? If so, 200!
 
The NNU Man 
No refs, no foul!
 
Mario, one thing that NNU has that is sort of cool is a very tight-knit community, where people know and care about each other. We also have a unique "guy culture" too. Do you have any thoughts about that?

Mario 
I think we have a sort of brotherhood/bromance that keeps us accountable and also helps keep us occupied on those lonely nights when we are dateless.
 
The NNU Man
Bromancerhood. What do you mean when you say accountable? Can you unpack that a little bit?

Mario 
I have a group of friends that I share every detail of my life with who help me stay on target to become the man I want to be. They hold me accountable by telling me when I'm wrong. Picking me up when I'm down. All-in-all, they are passengers in my journey with Christ and they assist whenever they feel it is applicable. They just continually help me in my daily pursuit of becoming more like Christ.

The NNU Man 
Very cool. Two more serious questions for you.
 
First: if a young man were looking to come to NNU, what would you say to him?
 

…I think what defines the NNU man is his awareness of his brokenness and inability to do anything meaningful without the work of Christ in his life.


​Mario
I would say if you want to come to a university where you will be groomed and polished from a boy into a man that will impact the kingdom, come to NNU!
 
The NNU Man
And how would you define the NNU Man?

Mario 
I think what defines the NNU man is his awareness of his brokenness and inability to do anything meaningful without the work of Christ in his life. I think the NNU man is someone who is fully dependent on the Lord and totally open to His will by serving in any way possible.
 
The NNU Man 
Awesome!  Ok, one final silly question. From what I hear, you need both hands to be decent at basketball, but if you didn't, what would you choose to replace a hand with: a flamethrower, a spatula, or one of those clicky-pens with all the different colors of ink you can select?

Mario 
I would definitely have to say spatula, because I could block everything with a spatula! Also off the court I could impress all the girls with my burger flipping skills.
 
The NNU Man
It's been a pleasure, Mario. Good luck this season as you go out and dominate the court!

You can find out more about the NNU Man by visiting his site at nnu.edu/man. For general information about Northwest Nazarene University, visit love.nnu.edu.


 

 

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