The court is not the only place where attention to detail is necessary.
Widespread college attention is coming for Kangudi, a 6-8, 220-pound power forward and center. But since his home city is Montreal, he grew up speaking French and the Scholastic Aptitude Test is presenting a challenge.
Among those colleges keeping tabs, hoping for the best, are Seton Hall, Rutgers, Virginia Commonwealth, Missouri and Arizona State. Plus a whole slew of lower-level D-1's.
"Because of the language thing," a family friend said, "we're hoping Junior will be able to take the SAT on an untimed basis. That should help. There are still some words he doesn't quite understand, but, overall, he's doing a great job considering English is not his first language."
Athleticism? Newly developed power? Now you're talking.
The occasion yesterday at Roman was a Catholic League contest between the Cahillites and Monsignor Bonner. Though the schedule called for basketball, mixed martial arts was often more like it. At least in Kangudi's vicinity.
Despite foul trouble, the pogo-sticking big guy contributed 15 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots in a hardly easy, 52-45 win.
Playing without three rotation members - Billy Cassidy (aftereffects of serious dehydration), Joe McGinn (knee) and Joe Phelan (concussion) - the Friars fought tooth and nail, and tooth again, and were involved in a 43-43 tie midway through the fourth quarter.
As Roman went on a 6-0 run, Kangudi scored two field goals (low-post conversion, follow) and got a piece of a floater to provide a fastbreak opportunity.
Overall, he shot 7-for-10 . . . and took many shots to the chest, ribs and shoulders. Gave 'em out, too, mostly to brothers Scott and Craig Slade.
Good thing the refs weren't police officers. There could have been assault-and-battery charges. On some possessions, fouls could have been called, literally, every other second. Offensive and defensive varieties.
"When you are a big man, and guys are trying to stop you, it's hard for the refs to call every foul," Kangudi said. "You have to deal with it. I have long arms, and now I have more strength, so I am able to do OK. I have learned to play strong to the contact. Just absorb it.
"I push off, too. When guys are hanging on you, and being physical, you just cannot stand there. It was pretty crazy out there."
Kangudi's parents are natives of Congo, but he was born and raised in Montreal. Last year, his first at Roman, he lived in West Chester with an uncle he described as more like a stepfather. He's now based in South Jersey and the travel to/from Roman is much easier.
Coach Chris McNesby used nine players yesterday. Only sub guard Dennis Regan and Kangudi, whose nickname is so entrenched that PA announcer Dan Hoban calls him "Junior Fortunat," were seniors. Five of the others were freshmen or sophomores.
"It's tough being so young, but we do have talent," Kangudi said. "We have to keep working at it. And make sure our minds are right."
Friday, Roman needed a last-second basket by Shafeek Taylor to avoid what would have been considered an all-time upset by a longtime (though revitalized) lesser light, Bishop McDevitt. Taylor had seven points and five rebounds vs. Bonner while Montana Mayfield mixed 13 points and four assists.
Josh Hoho (14) and Craig Slade (12, also a dozen boards) scored in double digits for the Friars. Anthony Jackson hit two treys en route to eight points and Shawn McCafferty, pressed into extended duty, was often very impressive while running the show (five assists, one ankle-breaking crossover that is no doubt the talk of Bonner's lunchroom today).
While Kangudi is unsure about a possible college major, he does know this:
"I want to graduate, so I have a chance to do good things in life," he said. "And maybe I will get a shot at the next level."
It's America. That's what we do. Rever (French for dream).
In another game:
* Wood 60, West Catholic 53: The final point of Wood senior guard Joe Getz' afternoon, scored on a free throw with 1:03 remaining, was rather noteworthy. It enabled him to finish with 41, and thus break his own school record of 40 set in the Dec. 10 opener, and raise his career total to exactly 1,000. Getz also had five steals. Jaleel Reed (24) led West. *