Part of the Blackmon family journey with the game of basketball has been overcoming and avoiding injuries, and now one of them will lead those efforts at a Division One college basketball program.
The Valparaiso University Department of Athletics announced the hiring of Vijay Blackmon as the strength & conditioning coach for the men’s basketball program. He was a walk-on basketball player at IU from 2017 to 2019.
Blackmon will lead all aspects of strength & conditioning for Valpo.
“I am highly motivated and excited to have the opportunity to be a part of Valparaiso Men’s Basketball,” Blackmon said in a release by the school. “I am progress-focused and plan to implement a program based on improving and making results and building relationships with the student-athletes.”
Blackmon arrives at Valpo after serving as the head strength & conditioning coach at Bella Vista College Prep School in Phoenix, Ariz. from October 2021 to April 2022. During that time, he also served as a strength coach intern for the Grand Canyon men’s basketball program, which is under the direction of Valpo legend Bryce Drew.
Blackmon, who also gained experience as a recreational therapist in Bloomington from 2018-2020, earned a bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy from IU in May 2019 and a master’s in health sciences from Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Mo. in May 2021. He is expected to graduate from Grand Canyon in May 2024 with a Ph.D. in performance psychology.
Blackmon played at Saint Francis, IU and Lindenwood. He was a member of the Hoosiers’ program in 2017-18 and 2018-19, appearing in seven games and earning Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2018-19. He cited his time training under Clif Marshall at IU when he was hired by Valpo.
“I was fortunate to have a strength coach who invested in me during my time as a player,” Blackmon said of Marshall in a Twitter post. “With my new opportunity as Valparaiso Head Men’s Basketball strength and conditioning coach I am blessed to invest in a program based on results and building relationships.”
At Valpo, Vijay will be just a couple hours from Marion, where he grew up and played high school basketball for his father James, Blackmon, Sr.
Vijay is the younger brother of former IU guard James Blackmon, Jr. (2014-17), who scored 1,235 points in his career, and the older brother of Jalen, who is currently a guard at Stetson. All three suffered major knee injuries during their playing careers.
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