Joovvin' With Mo Bamba
Orlando Magic center Mo Bamba has already left a mark on the NBA in his first two seasons. As he builds his career on the court, he’s using Joovv red light therapy to help him train and play his best, and recover from injuries and strain.
Joovv had a conversation with Mo Bamba after the 2020 NBA season. We talked about training, recovery, life in the NBA, and why Mo is Joovvin’ for peak performance.
Joovv: What part of your training routine is the toughest to get through, but yields great results?
Mo Bamba: There’s a drill I do where I shoot a 3, and if I make it, I only have to run back to half court before running back to the 3-point line for my next shot. If I miss, I have to run to the opposite baseline. It’s a grind and tires you out quick, but it’s great preparation for shooting when I’m tired in a game and making sure I use my legs to generate lift.
Joovv: How much focus is put on the recovery phase of training in the NBA today?
Mo Bamba: A ton. Ice baths, post-workout shakes, mandatory PT treatments after practice, stretching routines, keeping compression on my legs with Normatec sleeves, it’s all critical to helping me come back fresh a day later.
Joovv: What are some of your go-to strategies for overcoming soreness and nagging injuries?
Mo Bamba: A Hypervolt or Theragun type electric massager is great for knots and for keeping the small fascia flexible. I’ve found compression gear works for me too, both at home when I’m chillin and on-court when I’m running 5-on-5.
Joovv: What made you start thinking more about the role light plays in your health and fitness?
Mo Bamba: If I’m not at my condo, I basically go straight to my car, drive 5 minutes to the facility, pull into the garage, practice, and then reverse that process as I go home. I’m not outside getting good light, even though I’m in Florida, unless I make it a point to do an outdoor activity. With my schedule, that’s not always possible, so I wanted to find a way to get incremental healthy light in my system when I wake up and before I go to bed
Joovv: What role does light therapy play in your workout/recovery routine these days?
Mo Bamba: It’s an easy way to ensure I’m getting good exposure that will help my energy levels. I notice a difference even if all I do is stand in front of the panels when I’m brushing my teeth in the morning and at night before bed. I try to get a bit more than that and when I combine it with at least 20 minutes a day outside with my shirt off doing yoga or reading a book, I notice a significant difference in energy and clarity of mind.
Joovv: Have you noticed any difference in your sleep since using your Joovv
Mo Bamba: When I stick to a routine, especially at home, my sleep patterns are more regular and I find myself getting up and going to bed at more consistent times.
Joovv: Would you recommend Joovv light therapy to other NBA players?
Mo Bamba: Definitely, for the energy levels alone.
Joovv: What was the toughest part of NBA life to adjust to after playing college basketball?
Mo Bamba: You’re no longer playing against your own age group like you have your whole life. Even in college, the oldest guy you’ll go against maybe has 3 years on you. But in the NBA you’ve got 450 dudes, most of whom are in that prime age of 24-32 where their body is filled out and in peak shape. You have to adapt quickly as a younger guy.
Joovv: What NBA player would you love to dunk on and why?
Mo Bamba: It’s still Cam Reddish. Gotta remind him he’s my little brother just like he was when we played together in high school!
Joovv: What’s it like to have a popular song about you? (“Mo Bamba” by Sheck Wes)
Mo Bamba: It’s been great and I’m happy for Sheck and all the success he’s had. I’ve been boys with him since we were kids growing up just a few blocks from each other. Ultimately I want to be known for what I do on the basketball court though, with the song just a nice footnote.
Joovv: What’s a downside to being over 7 feet tall that people might not realize?
Mo Bamba: You can’t hide. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked if I played basketball or how tall I was, I could probably buy a small country. I always appreciate fans who recognize me, the person, as opposed to just some nameless ‘creature’ who is tall.
Joovv: What’s one major goal you have for your NBA career?
Mo Bamba: I want to win a championship.
You can read more Joovvin’ interviews with elite pro athletes on the Joovv Blog.