McNamara Steps Into the Mix

After a disappointing two seasons at St. Cloud State, transferring to WMU, and sitting out a season due to NCAA athlete transfer rules, Jim McNamara has seen his first playing time for the Broncos. In just two games he has 3 assists and has added depth to the Bronco defense.

Could you talk about your weekend getting 3 assists against Ferris St.?

It was pretty exciting getting points again, it feels good. I'm just glad coach gave me the opportunity to get the points. I hope to keep getting them, I hope they keep coming. It wasn't a big surprise, I was just excited to have the opportunity to get out there and score. I was glad to be a part of it.

Did it feel good to finally get out there playing again?

Oh, of course. Playing again feels like Christmas every day. Jim [Culhane] gave me a chance to go out there and I just hope to keep playing.

Did the year off help you develop as a player in any way?

There were some things that I wanted to focus on. Things that [coach] want me to get out of my game and things that I wanted to get out my game. I practiced everyday and got to get real specific with my skills. Even with the training we did, I thought I improved in the workouts and in the weight room.

Why did you choose to leave St. Cloud State?

I was there two years and my sophomore season I only played in 17 games, and then we only lost 1 defenseman and we were bringing in a freshman who was supposed to be really good. And the coach said to me I'll play in the same amount of games as I did if not more. He gave me the option if I wanted to stay I could keep my money and be the sixth or seventh defenseman, but I felt like at my age, I was only 20, I felt like I could still do something with hockey. I didn't like not playing. My parents would come out to see me and take the chance of seeing me playing or not and I wanted to get closer to home.

Why did you end up choosing Western Michigan?

I really got focused in my program, which is urban planning, and there are only 3 schools in Michigan that had it and Western was one of them. My big thing was I wanted to play, I wanted the chance, I wanted the opportunity in front of me. Western lost 4 defenseman and 3 starters in Cousineau and Townsend and they lost Akright too. Michigan State didn't have too many opportunities and Michigan is always bringing in freshmen that compete with the veterans for playing time. I talked to the coaches and [Culhane] was the first one that said yes. I thought the opportunity was there for me actually to almost have a secure spot.

Your sister played at St. Cloud on their women's team?

Yes, she actually played four years there.

Was that part of the reason you went out to St. Cloud?

It wasn't a big part of it but it was part of it, but I really liked the atmosphere out there and I got an offer and they were doing good at the time. I wanted to get away from home and wanted to do something different.

How did playing for the NTDP in Ann Arbor help develop your skills?

I didn't even know if I wanted to play college hockey until I got an offer there. They told me that they accelerate players going to division I hockey faster then the North American league or the USHL. You really refine your skills playing in the best league with the best players. We played a 70 game season in the USHL so it was just like playing for Lincoln (USHL), but I got to do it an hour away from home.

What are your plans after college? Do you plan a pro career or do you want to go right into urban planning?

It really depends on what I do here. Right now my career is only 2 years long, so if I want to do something after college I have to make an immediate impact and I only have 2 years to do it. Certainly I'd like to play in a minor pro league, I'd like to play as long as I can but that depends on what I do here.

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