Robert Morris basketball’s newest big man: Roberto Mantovani

Rashad Christian

From Cyprus to the west coast to the east coast, Roberto Mantovani has seen it all.

And he can credit basketball for that. He’s been in love with the game his whole life, and it has led him to Moon Township, Pa.

His large 6-foot-8, 235-pound frame proves to be his — no pun intended — biggest advantage. He prides himself on being able to out-muscle and outmatch his adversaries.

“Being able to physically abuse my opponents, I like that… Competition is my favorite part”, said Mantovani.

RMU was in desperate need of this significant size, being that their tallest player at the conclusion of last season was 6-foot-7.

Last year, Mantovani played for Cuesta College in California, a junior college. He averaged 15.5 points per game and 11 rebounds per game, and he was also first in minutes played within his conference.

Mantovani was a highly utilized player with many skills on the court. With this amount of talent, why he chose Robert Morris over other schools was something worth noting.

What stood out above the other competing universities was the coaching staff. “The coaches would allow me to be myself.,” he said. “I’m a pretty vocal guy, intense. That was one of the things I was looking for while being recruited.”

According to Mantovani, communication on the basketball court is one of the most important things to a team’s success. Hearing him speak, one could see why he likes using his voice. He wants to be heard, and he wants everybody to know that he is the most physically imposing player on the court.

Robert Morris struggled in the 2015-2016 season, achieving a modest 10-22 record. In Northeast Conference play, the team was only able to win eight of 18 games.

This season, Mantovani has different plans for the team. He was asked about what he hoped the outcome of the season would be.

“Win the conference championship and make it to the NCAA tournament, it’s basically the only thing I’m thinking about,” he said.

The last time the Colonials were in the NCAA tournament was in the 2014-2015 season. Their journey was promptly ended by the Duke Blue Devils in a 85-56 loss.

Robert Morris opens the season at home in a non-conference match-up against head coach Andy Toole’s alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, on Nov. 11.

Only time will tell how far the Colonials can get this year, but with Roberto Mantovani manning the five-spot, physicality will definitely not be a concern.