Q&A with Venky Jois

By Riley Baker, Staff Writer

On March 3, Venky Jois broke the EWU men’s basketball career scoring record, a record that Ron Cox (1974-77) held for 39 years. The Australian native’s 1,000 rebounds are third-most in program history, and his 58.5 field goal percentage is the fourth-highest for an Eagle. We sat down and talked to one of the school’s most decorated athletes as he reflected about his time and accomplishments at EWU.

The Easterner(E): How does it feel to become the all-time leading scorer in school history?

Venky Jois (VJ): I don’t think it’s really hit me yet. It’s a very, very cool honor to have that, as far as putting in four years of hard work and sweat into the program. It’s cool to have your name on a record book even after you’re gone.

E: Is there a moment that stands out most to you in your Eagle career?

VJ: I definitely still have the Montana win with the fireworks and the cellophane coming down from the ceiling in last year’s Big Sky Tournament. That’s well engrained in my mind, and I think will be forever.

E: As a freshman, did you ever see yourself being where you are now?

VJ: It’s always been pretty in the moment with me, so I don’t think I really looked ahead too much. We never really get time to, actually; it’s always about the next game. Even in the offseason, you take things pretty day-to-day. But looking back on everything, it’s pretty insane.

E: What has been the hardest thing in your Eastern basketball career?

VJ: Kind of mentally keeping up with everything. Especially with things like injuries, just the stress of playing, school. Sometimes you’re up until 3 a.m. studying for whatever exam you have. Sometimes before the exam you have a practice or a weights session at 6, so when those times come around it’s tough to deal with. But I think I’ve done a pretty good job.

E: What’s your favorite thing from back home in Australia?

VJ: I would say just the atmosphere of friends and family when I’ve gone over there. It’s crazy to come back every year, it might just be a brief stint, maybe for a month or so, but to have things just be exactly how they were when I left and started this journey is pretty awesome.

E: Favorite thing about America?

VJ: Once again I’d say the atmosphere. I mean, as tough as it is to leave home, coming to a place where you’re just surrounded by college kids, the brotherhood that we have in the program, that’s very special in its own way.

E: Favorite hobby outside of basketball?

VJ: You know what, if it counts, I’d actually say probably studying. It sound weird, but I’m 100 percent serious. I think learning anything in fields I enjoy is pretty fun for me. But if that doesn’t count, I would say PS4, one of the two.

E: Do you hope to play in the NBA?

VJ: I’ll probably try and play pro, you only have your legs once. I don’t think my knees will hold up forever, or as long as my brain will. I’ll try and enjoy playing basketball, and kind of exploit what you can do. That’ll be awesome, very excited for the start of that journey.

E: How do you feel about your Eastern Washington career as a whole as it wraps up?

VJ: I’m definitely happy with the way everything has gone. Especially with last year’s success giving me now the opportunity to kind of replicate some of that. There’s been some pretty special moments.