Op-Eds Opinion

Looney: Thank you, men’s basketball, for giving me a second family

By Molly Looney

When I was a sophomore, I made the crazy decision to go down to Salem, Virginia for spring break.  The men’s basketball team was shocking Div.   III basketball and had made it to the Final Four. I will never forget seeing the team play in the Salem Civic Center.  I was in a class with Coach Brock during the Final Four run.  When the season had ended, I stayed after class one day to talk to him and ask if I could be a part of the team.  This was definitely one of the best decisions I made in my four years at Springfield College.  I was so excited to work with the team, especially coming off the season they had just had.  The 2018-2019 season did not go as the team had planned.  It took awhile for the team to click and figure things out.  I knew coming into the 2019-2020 season that the senior class was ready to go.  The guys had some incredible games this year.  From the 20-point comeback win against Keene State, to the tournament win in Blake Arena in front of so many amazing fans.  Getting to host the tournament games was definitely very special for the team. 

I went into this experience knowing a few guys on the team.  I thought having a work-study job would be helpful.  I could stay busy and make some money.  Working with Springfield Men’s Basketball quickly became so much more than a work-study job for me.  Something I will say is that being around 20 boys everyday can definitely be a challenge.  Not to mention that I live with some of the boys, and the rest of the team is usually at the house.  The guys on the team have become brothers to me.  I know I can always count on them to have my back (especially when the shot clock is about to go off, so I don’t have to have Coach Brock yell from across the gym “sleep at night Looney” )  No matter how much the guys pick on me, I know they will always be able to make me laugh or put a smile on my face.  

My favorite memory from Springfield Basketball is getting the chance to go on the trip of a lifetime.  We spent eight days in Costa Rica.  I don’t think I have ever seen so much rice and beans in my life.  The team played three games against other teams from Costa Rica.  During the trip, we got to explore different volcanoes, go ziplining, and visit a beautiful waterfall. The trip to Costa Rica was very rewarding because the team got to do activities together besides basketball.  

The biggest takeaway I have from working with Springfield Men’s Basketball is the lessons I have learned from the guys.  I have been watching senior Trey Witter play for four years.  I have never seen someone with so much passion and drive towards basketball than Trey.  He has shown me that hard work does pay off.  If you know freshman Panayiotis Kapanides, then you know he always has the biggest smile on his face.  Although he did not get a lot of playing time this year, he did play a major role on the team.  Panayiotis knows how to pick up his teammates, even from the bench.  He taught me how to be a true team player.  I learned about friendship and confidence from sophomore Daryl Costa.  There are going to be things in life that you have no control over and you need to focus on what you can control.  Daryl has taught me how to not take things so personal and to never doubt myself. I have learned about resilience from junior Charlie Clay and sophomore Casey Lane.  Both of these athletes have suffered some serious injuries during their time at the Birthplace.  They still come to practice every day and try to get better.  I am excited to see them shine next year and show people what they are capable of.  I think that all members of this team have great character on and off the court, which is why they were so successful this past season.  

I will forever be grateful for my time spent with Springfield College Men’s Basketball.  Thank you for giving me a second family.  

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