Cy Ranch’s Muonekes Credit Discipline, Structure for Success



CYPRESS — While playing Brazilian jiu-jitsu in Korea, Gabe Muoneke, then 28-year-old veteran professional basketball player 6-foot-7 and weighing 250 pounds, kept getting shot down. Muoneke was physically outnumbered by a man half his height.

“He beat me pretty easily, over and over again,” said Muoneke, the former Cy-Falls High star and University of Texas star who ended a four-year career at the Longhorns among the program leaders. in terms of score and rebound. “Even when he was dead tired he would say, ‘Come on, let’s go.’ He just took me down.

“I saw what this guy did to me. I thought I wanted to do it. I wanted to get my black belt and teach my kids.”

Muoneke achieved a blue or purple belt, he said, before starting to involve his four children and those of his wife Lenea in the sport: his eldest son, senior forward Dubem of Cy Ranch; eldest daughter, junior Cy Ranch outside hitter Bianna; youngest daughter Arianna, Cy Ranch freshman hitter; and the youngest son, Nnazi, in fourth grade, who calls himself “Z”.

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Muoneke still trains with his children at home and is qualified to teach Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He respects the sport for its discipline, the way it teaches patience by working on something that does not bring immediate satisfaction and self-defense.

“I didn’t want my kids to find themselves in a position where they can’t defend themselves, and in a way where they aren’t stopped,” said Muoneke, now 33. “Because of that, they’re not afraid of anyone. They’re not afraid to stand up for themselves. They’re ready to go through the steps, the thousand-step process to a result, because of that .

Muoneke has tried Tae Kwon Do, boxing and Muay Thay. All of them attack the martial arts.

“If you hit someone in the wrong place, you go to jail,” he said. “If you hit someone the wrong way, you will go to jail.”

Jiu-jitsu translates to “gentle art” in Japanese.

“I can neutralize you and hold you with little to no effort,” Muoneke said, “and never hurt you.”

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Before becoming a star on the basketball court, Dubem was a state champion wrestler and three-time state champion in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

The struggle was a physical chore. Jiu-jitsu was mental.

“It’s being able to breathe despite the pain,” Dubem said. “In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, we have three-minute rounds. If you can’t last, you’re going to get beaten. Same thing on the court. If someone nudges or kicks me, I play through. Because at the end of the game, when they’re tired, I go anyway. “

Dubem is 6 feet 5 inches tall at 220 pounds. He recently committed to playing Abilene Christian. He averaged 14.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks last season for the Mustangs, shooting 57% overall.

Dubem’s lifestyle is centered on discipline and structure. Not only with his experience in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but also in his diet.

Dubem is vegan. Even her snacks are vegan. Lenea consistently offers creative meals every day, waking up at 5.30am, cooking every day for the kids. Dubem’s favorite is quinoa, which Lenea said he eats at least once a day.

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Like Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the benefit of being vegetarian is the end of the game for Dubem.

“The diet helps me breathe,” Dubem said. “I don’t get tired that fast. In the first quarter, everyone wants to come out aggressive, shoot, block, jump. Nobody wants to do the heavy lifting in the fourth quarter. That’s where I am best. at that time I’m 30, 40 points. “

Eating well is something Gabe is adamant about with his children. This is something he learned too late in his career.

Gabe said that Dubem would end up creating a distinct separation in terms of talent between himself and the others due to strict eating habits. Lenea said she spends around $ 2,000 every two weeks restocking food. Every item and meal, from spices to morning shakes, is organic. The water the Muonekes use, whether for bathing or drinking, is reverse osmosis.

“I say to the guys, ‘When my son is in college it won’t be close,’” Muoneke said. “As long as you eat that cheeseburger, it won’t be close. I learned that in the NBA. When I was playing for Detroit (Pistons), I ate McDonald’s. Chauncey Billups said to me, ‘Hey, man, you can “Don’t keep eating that shit. At this level, diet is the driving factor.” I noticed that. I changed my diet at 29 and literally had a new lease of life in my career. If I had known just in college, it would be over. “

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Dubem is physically mature. He has the desire. Once he has mastered the mental aspect, Muoneke said, the puzzle will be over.

“There is a saying that a black belt is just a white belt that doesn’t stop. Now I know it’s true,” Muoneke said. “When I fight you, I just won’t stop. I’m teaching my son that he doesn’t have to dunk 10 times and win 100-0. It’s not like that. walk. You have to work the game and beat your opponent like a lumberjack, and then this guy will give in. It depends on your mind and your diet. “

A Muoneke who has the mind at his fingertips? Bianna, who can touch a 10-foot basketball rim.


Every morning Bianna wakes up and the first thing she does is make her bed. Perfectly. No folds. Flat sheet. Tight pillows.

Lenea said Bianna could tell if anyone was on her bed after she did it.

Bianna is intense, intelligent. Attention to detail, methodical. A student of all A.

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“She watches and observes a lot,” Lenea said. “She doesn’t just react. She sits and studies, then she reacts. She watches the movie before every game and will know what the trends are, whether it’s at the club or in high school. She’s paying attention.”

Bianna is the star of a dominant 31-3 Cy Ranch volleyball team. She leads the team in kills with 6.6 per set, for a winning percentage of 0.376. She also leads the Mustangs in aces (56) with 3.9 digs per set.

“The teams that have the strongest connections are the teams that win, and we have it,” said Bianna. “We’re really tight and close.”

Bianna Muoneke Cy Ranch Volleyball vs. Cy Lakes High School District Game Sept 2021


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Bianna made a verbal commitment to Texas A&M in late July, which made a funny decision for her dad Longhorn. But Muoneke, Bianna said, offered her full support and was influential throughout the recruiting process.

“Honestly, my dad just gave me his advice, having been in this situation, and he told me to choose a school that made me feel wanted,” Bianna said. “I liked the flow at A&M. I liked the environment. When he was recruited, Texas made him feel wanted. A&M felt good to me.”

Like her older brother, Bianna is a three-time Brazilian state jiu-jitsu champion. She followed Dubem for a long time wherever he went, whenever he went. She started doing Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the age of seven because Dubem was doing it.

Growing up in athletic competition against Dubem and his father made Bianna a competitive force in its own right.

“I wanted to beat them so badly. I wanted to be the best in the house,” said Bianna. “Growing up in a family like this, you just want to be the best. It pushes you to be the best in every aspect of my life, which is pretty cool.”

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Muoneke believes that a great athlete should have physical and mental capabilities in their respective sport. He believes he could have stayed longer in the NBA – he signed unsecured contracts with Detroit, Houston, Charlotte and Utah throughout his career, but was given up on each of those teams before recording a NBA minute – if he had focused more on the mind.

“The physical part, (Dubem) is great,” said Muoneke. “He’s a great athlete, he jumps from the gym, he’s super fast. The mental part, Bianna has mastered it. She’s just starting to realize that she’s strong and can jump. stays, she does it mentally. She places the ball in certain places, she is a great passer. Everything that is technical to be successful in volleyball, she is very good. “

The Muoneke family: before, Nnazi; in the back row, from left to right, Bianna Muoneke, Gabe Muoneke, Lenea Muoneke and Arianna Muoneke.Dennis Silva II | VYPE media

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Arianna would likely play college volleyball at Cy Ranch as a freshman, but she is due to play the year in junior college after transferring schools. So, she was content to be captain of the team and lead the JV in scoring.

Arianna has the potential to be better than Dubem or Bianna. Athletically, even in a physically gifted family, Arianna is different.

“She is a physical specimen,” Muoneke said.

“She just turned 14 and is supposed to be in eighth grade,” Lenea added. “His strength is incredible. His hands are huge.”

Lenea said Arianna, who also participates in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and does well in urban competitions, is already receiving offers for college scholarships. Yet another Muoneke on the rise.

Gabe has lived in Cypress since the age of eight. It is the home of the Michigan native. He said the town has been kind to his family and that they love Cy Ranch.

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“It has become a home for our children,” said Lenea. “Dubem did well, the girls did well. The coaches are great animators, great leaders. We are very happy and grateful. It’s a great school.”

The Muonekes live by Hebrew laws, which are more cultural than religious.

“Our faith, our culture, our drive to be better than the person in front of us… we don’t mind losing, but we don’t mind someone making us stop,” Muoneke said. “But that won’t happen. It’s a mentality based on our culture, our beliefs and our faith.”

The Muonekes are not a family jealous of each other’s successes or status. There is no frustration for the children living in Muoneke’s prominent shadow as an athlete, simply because he makes sure they get away from it and develop their own path.

The family did not own a basketball hoop until Dubem expressed his interest in the sport at the age of 11. Much like when Bianna expressed her passion for volleyball, Muoneke had a college regulation volleyball court built.

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Bianna said she appreciated that Muoneke was “practical”. He records all his games. Dubem said Muoneke taught him everything he knew about basketball.

“He’s my teacher in life, basketball,” Dubem said. “Everything, I go to him. If my foot is off or my hips are the wrong way, he will correct it. I look at him in the crowd and he tells me what to do. Lots of challenges and adversity. that I will face in my life, he trained me to get out of it. “


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