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Students create inclusive culture through basketball at break, lunch

Photo by Edwin Perez ’18 | Edwin Mehari ’18 shoots a basketball during a flex period Apr. 4. Students find inclusive community through playing basketball in the Dutch.

By Ethan Winkler ’17

When you walk into the Dutch during break or lunch, you are greeted with an overwhelmingly loud collection of noises.

Hearing yells, cheers, screams, clanks and balls being dribbled, you quickly realize that you are surrounded by the competitive camaraderie of students playing basketball.  

With six hoops hosting six separate games, there are dozens of students shooting threes, getting rebounds, moving the ball, cheering each other on and even talking a little bit of trash here and there.

Dutch supervisor Mrs. Teresa Molander spends most of her time, watching over those using the new workout facility and those playing basketball at break and lunch.

She said she definitely notices the competitiveness and high-energy that is shown on the courts on a daily basis.

“The boys that come here are competitive by nature,” Mrs. Molander said. “It gets pretty intense out there, but they always walk off the court as friends.”

She also said that she recognizes a very welcoming culture that the students have adopted for freshmen and other newcomers to the courts.

“From what I see, it seems like [the students] really include people,” she said. “Someone will let you in even if they aren’t a part of your ‘group.’”

This inclusiveness is something that Simur Khurana ’18 said he has felt through his experience playing basketball.

“I think I’ve definitely made a lot more friends playing basketball,” Khurana said. “I’ve met people I haven’t even seen before just being on the same team as them.”

Another frequent to the basketball scene at break and lunch is Freddy Soto ’18, who said he plays hours and hours of basketball weekly, if not, daily.

He said he’s found that basketball is a great way to learn about who people are and what kinds of things they value.

“Since I grew up, my dad has taught me a lot about basketball and how you can learn about a person through basketball,” Soto said. “I just allows a certain part of you to come out and show what type of person you really are.”

He also said that he really appreciates the opportunity given to students to use the basketball courts during free time.

Without it, it might be a struggle for him and possibly other students to play a sport that they love, he said.

“For most guys, the school day is very busy,” Soto said. “I don’t see myself having that time to be seeing my friends and play without basketball at break or lunch.”

Mrs. Molander said that she sees many students come to the Dutch gym with that same kind of passion.

But, she said she has one small apprehension with how the students decide to manage their time.

“For the most part it’s a really great thing,” Mrs. Molander said. “However, I do think that some kids maybe don’t have their priorities in order. If they get behind on their studies, maybe they shouldn’t be playing basketball and should be getting their homework done.”

But she said as long as they have their schoolwork in order, it’s a wonderful way to spend your time at Brophy.

Even if you haven’t tried it before or don’t know anybody, she said that someone on one of the six hoops will welcome you.

“That’s one thing I love about working at Brophy,” Mrs. Molander said. “It’s the positiveness and friendliness of the boys and how they accept each other.”