The induction of Chris Mullin into the St. John’s University Athletics Hall of Fame was about celebrating much more than what he accomplished on court.
The school’s legendary men’s basketball star said in his time at the school he connected with people he remains close with decades later.
“My years at St. John’s and my relationships there have developed over 30 years and are very special to me,” said Mullin. “My teammates, coach [Lou] Carnesecca, and his staff Brian Mahoney and Ron Rutledge, I’ve known since I was 10 years old. It’s much more than a four-year playing career and four-year student at St. John’s.”
He was enshrined with six other inductees during a ceremony last Saturday. Mullin, who now lives in California, said the honor may have come sooner had he and the school been able to work out the logistics of him coming to accept it. He’s happy to receive it now and be with Carnesecca.
“I’m excited to go back,” Mullin said. “Anytime I can be with coach and spend some time with him, I’d do anything to be with him.”
Mullin, 51, is the program’s all-time leading scorer with 2,440 points. His senior year the dead-eye shooter led the Johnnies to the 1985 Final Four and won the Wooden Award as the best player in college basketball that year.
“When I went on those visits, whether it be Virginia, Duke, Villanova, was really to compare to what I thought I had in St. John’s and being home and being able to play for coach Carnesecca,” Mullin said. “I felt it was the best place for me.”
Mullin, who graduated from Xaverian High School in Bay Ridge, played 16 seasons in the NBA and was a five-time all star. He was a member of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, and was inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.
Mullin said he doesn’t have any interest in coaching at St. John’s, but he is willing to help the program in any other way he can. He feels that way about his high school Xaverian also, sighting good relationships with president Robert Alesi, and Jack Alesi, the school’s director of finance and basketball coach. Mullin joined the school’s board of trustees last September and is hoping to help fund-raise and expand the school.
“It’s one of the best schools in the city, and a lot like St. John’s,” Mullin said. “Any way I can help. The time they invested in me, the guidance, and the mentorship is really irreplaceable. I can’t pay them back. But any time I can help and assist.”
Mullin, currently the advisor to the chairman of the Sacramento Kings, said he’s still a New Yorker at heart and has always taken the time to remember the importance of his roots at St. John’s.
“It’s more than a four-year career for me,” Mullin said. “It’s a life-long relationship. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”