Celebrating Alumni: Abel Joseph

Marquette radio announcer Steve "The Homer" True used to refer to Faisel Abraham as "The Sheriff" and Abel Joseph as "The Deputy". As it turns out, Homer was pretty close on one of them. John Lyden of MarquetteHoops.com caught up with former Marquette hoopster Abel Joseph....

Perhaps it was poetic justice that drew Abel Joseph to a law enforcement career. Four-and-a-half years ago, the burly, ex-power forward, nicknamed "The Deputy" during his playing days, made a seamless transition from laying down the law under the basket to fighting crime on the streets as a police officer in his native Montreal.

After graduating from Marquette in 1998 with a double major in Criminology and Psychology, Joseph played two years of professional basketball in Switzerland. While he enjoyed the experience, Joseph grew tired of the traveling, and following his second season, he applied to the Montreal Police Department. Three months later he entered the police academy.

"I started to think about becoming a police officer during my senior year, said Joseph. "I took a course in Police Administration, taught by a police officer. That's when I thought it could be a good profession for me."

By far the biggest cop in the city, the 6'9" 270lb. Joseph cuts quite an imposing figure in uniform, yet he prefers to settle disputes through negotiation rather than with physical force.

"There's no question my size helps me in my line of work," said Joseph. "But I think you first need to try to control any situation on the street by communication. I come across a lot of different personalities and each person needs to be dealt with differently; it's very worthwhile helping people in need."

When not working, Joseph enjoys spending time with his girlfriend – and fellow police officer – Lyne, going to art museums, rabidly following college and Canadian and U.S. professional football leagues, and practicing with the Montreal Royal of the American Basketball Association.

"Next year – if my schedule allows – I'd like to play for them," said the 33-year old Joseph. "I know I can still compete at a high level and I enjoy beating people up in the paint.

"I've also become a football addict. I few years ago a friend recruited me into a touch football league and now I'm hooked. I read all I can about it and watch games on the NFL Network whenever I can. I wish Marquette had a team. I'd liked to have played for it."

Joseph also finds time in his schedule to follow the fortunes of his alma mater, where he played from 1993-1998. He saw just 20 minutes of court time his freshman year but – with the aid of a developmental red-shirt year – grew into a dependable bench player over the next two seasons. While Joseph became a regular starter in his senior season, recording career highs in points (10, in a Senior Day loss to Memphis) and rebounds (eight, in a home loss to St. Louis), he says his most memorable experiences at Marquette came in a game where he earned only spot duty and in another where he saw nary a minute of action.



Joseph sticks it to UWM

"The championship game of the '95 NIT at Madison Square Garden were very special," said Joseph, who also received scholarship offers from the University of Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure. "Even though we lost that game to Virginia Tech, just the feeling of being in that arena – in the presence of a few of my friends from Montreal, who came down to see me play – was a great experience. And, on the national scene, I'll always remember beating Kentucky during my freshman year in '94 to advance to the Sweet 16. I didn't play in that game, but it was still great. There were other great moments, but those two stand out as ones that made me really glad I went to Marquette."



Illegal use of the hands?

**Photos courtesy of Marquette University.

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