From having a childhood full of hardship and scarcity, to being recruited to play lacrosse at Montclair State University, junior Jamond Randolph has turned his life around and is in the process of making his dreams come true. Randolph grew up in downtown Montclair, New Jersey where he and his family constantly struggled to make ends meet.
“It was hard at times,” Randolph said. “It felt like I was trapped in a bubble. There were instances where there wasn’t any food, electricity or water to take showers. My friends helped my family and I live and that made a huge difference in my life.”
The obstacles that Randolph faced as a child forced him to grow up and take on responsibilities someone his age should not of. The only thing that seemed consistent in Randolph’s life was sports. He dreamed of breaking away from his impoverished state of living and longed for the day he could begin living a prosperous and successful life.
When it came time to start applying to colleges, Randolph reached out to 30 different colleges in search of a school and a team he could call home. He received a response from only one school, Montclair State.
After numerous discussions about his future lacrosse career and acceptance to Montclair State, Randolph formed a close relationship with late head coach Mike Shambach. Little did Randolph realize how big of an impact Shambach would have on his life.
“[Coach Shambach] is the reason I got into college,” Randolph said. “He turned a kid’s dream into reality. A lot of people didn’t think I would even go to college and he was the one who made that possible. When I think of him, I think of what an honest, truthful and courageous man he was. He was a fighter. I miss him every day.”
Randolph has been playing lacrosse at Montclair State for three years as an offensive midfielder. He enjoys going over the fundamentals during practice and using conditioning to stay in shape. He appreciates that lacrosse keeps him on a timely schedule and keeps him occupied. The thing Randolph cherishes most about being on the team though is the friendships.
Jon Rice, teammate and senior long pole defenseman, had many heartfelt words to describe what kind of teammate Randolph is.
“[Randolph] is the type of teammate that you can depend on any given day,” Rice said. “His teammates are always able to trust that he will bring every ounce of energy every day all day to not only make the team better, but to display phenomenal leadership through his actions on the field and in the classroom. He loves to make his friends laugh which is another reason I love surrounding myself with a kid like him.”
Aside from the effort he gives on the lacrosse field, Randolph also puts the same amount of energy into his school work. With a major in physical education, Randolph hopes to one day become a teacher to influence younger generations and help them build successful futures.
Randolph also hopes he can one day become a motivational speaker to tell his inspiring story. He believes that once he acquires his bachelor’s degree, there will be countless opportunities and connections to bring his dream to life.
“That’s my dream,” Randolph said. “I have a story to tell and I believe it could change lives. I will speak my story from now until the day I die.”
With the recent losses of his father and brother, Randolph believes he has a lot to prove to not only his family, but himself. He is currently striving to become the successful person he has always wanted to be. Randolph claims his godmother is his biggest inspiration and the reason for his grand aspirations.
“She is such a hard worker,” Randolph said. “She’s fighting breast cancer at the moment and the most important thing she ever told me was to surround yourself with good people because in the end, that defines what kind of person you are.”
From growing up in an unstable household to playing lacrosse at a collegiate level, Randolph is making the most of his four years at Montclair State. Being the first in his family to graduate college will be one of the biggest accomplishments he has ever achieved.
Looking ahead a few years, you may happen to stumble upon his life’s story in a book, hear about it in a podcast or hear Randolph speak publicly about it himself. You will not want to miss out on hearing how Randolph’s manic, yet rewarding, story ends.