Darcy Burnham ’18
– Jake Zanazzi
Darcy Burnham ’18 has established herself as an elite competitor and motivator on the Green Team, guiding her team to the first seed heading into the playoffs. While she may not be the team’s leading scorer, she contributes by hustling with energy on both ends of the court.
Wilbert Garcia ’17, a teammate of Darcy Burnham, said, “Darcy is the heart and soul of the Green Team. Everyone knows that the Green Team is the most aggressive in [Intramural Basketball], and Darcy embodies that, throwing elbows whenever necessary.”
Darcy Burnham and her brother, Dewitt Burnham ’16, combine aggressiveness and talent to form an unstoppable duo. The pair’s ability to play a dynamic two-person game developed from hard work and determination.
Garcia said, “She motivates the team and plays to win, and is mentored by [Intramural Basketball] Hall of Fame superstar and legend, Dewitt Burnham. They’re both training before and after every game, win or lose.”
Darcy Burnham said, “Our impeccable athleticism is what brought [the Green Team] to the number one seed.”
She looks to bring the same intensity and defensive prowess to hopefully to make a run at the coveted Intramural Basketball title.
Darcy Burnham said, “I truly look forward to putting ‘Intramural Basketball Champion’ on my resumé.”
Brandon Barros ’17 – Ananda Kao
As a point guard, shooting guard and a coach on the Gray Team, Brandon Barros ’17 hopes to lead his team from its current standing in last place all the way to the title of Intramural Basketball Championships.
With Barros at the helm, the Gray Team has embraced its role as the underdogs coming into the playoffs. Barros said, “Most people strive to be in first place, but that’s not how we roll.”
“Being a lower-seeded team will just make the [Championship] we are guaranteed to win that much sweeter,” Barros continued.
Barros likens his playing style, bolstered by a deadly crossover and a seamless ability to finish in the interior, to Allen Iverson, and his coaching ability to Gregg Popovich in the sense that he always keeps the team motivated.
In a game against the Green Team, Barros was challenged by Alex Dziadosz ’16, a member of the Green Team, while Barros was dribbling up the court.
Barros said, “At the top of the key, I hit him with my patented behind-the-back crossover move, sending him to the floor. As he stared up at me helplessly I drained a [3-pointer], resulting in a Curry-esque play that put the aging Dziadosz in his place.”
“It was similar to the moment [Allen Iverson] stepped over Tyronn Lue in terms of its pure savagery,” added Barros.
Bobby Dall ’18 – Jack Legler
Having never picked up a basketball before stepping onto the Intramural Basketball courts this season, Bobby Dall ’18 of the Gold Team had very little expectations prior to the start of the season.
However, after he first touched a basketball, he knew he had found his calling into the world of sports. In a matter of games, this hometown boy from Maine dominated the defensive play of his team with extremely aggressive defensive play, boxing out opponents and coming up big with blocked shots.
Orange Team member Carter Braswell ’17 said, “In the games I’ve played against Bobby, he’s proven a tenacious defender. He’s shown he’ll do anything to make a play for his team. He’s even tried to trip me or pick up my leg.”
Rocking a headband to keep his luscious hair out of his eyes and a pair of fake Kobe’s, Dall has kept his head high and hoped not to break too many ankles with his newfound athletic abilities.
Dall attributes much of his success this season and his entire career to his coach, Edward Elson ’17.
Dall said, “After a quick few lessons with [him], I quickly learned the ways of the game.”
Dall’s tenacious defense is a style unique to himself, keeping the enemy team on the balls of their feet. Nobody, not even his teammates, know what to expect when Dall checks into the game.
Fran Trautmann ’16 – Ananda Kao
Contributing two to three baskets per game for the Green Team, Fran Trautmann ’16 specializes in sideline trash-talking. In addition to this hidden talent, Trautmann has proven to be quite versatile, playing both offense and defense for her team.
When she learned she was chosen as a Intramural Basketball All-Star, Trautmann said, “I’d like to start off by saying thank you for this honor – but, honestly, everyone expected this.”
Despite the Green Team’s league-leading win total, its players remain humble as they enter the playoffs as the first seed.
Trautmann said, “I don’t want to say we are going all the way, but we are the best team so I don’t know why we wouldn’t.”
Trautmann takes advantage of the fact that there are no rules in Intramural Basketball (besides giving minimum effort) and her aggressive style of play correlates to the lack of regulation.
“I do not believe it is a foul if another player trips over my leg or runs into my arm while they are shooting… and, honestly, anyone who thinks that is just [annoyed] about losing to us,” Trautmann said.
Other teams should watch out for the Green Team coming into playoffs, as it has more to prove to the other teams and to itself.
“I want to add that I haven’t peaked in my [Intramural Basketball] career yet, so everyone should be expecting a lot from me and the Green Team in the playoffs,” she said.
Carter Braswell ’17 – Jack Legler
Standing at a daunting 5-feet 11-inches with his shoes on, Carter Braswell ’17 has been a major force for the Orange Team this year. Braswell’s winning mindset has been crucial to his overall success. Throughout the season, he has been tirelessly grinding off the court and doing whatever he can to spark his team’s offense and defense.
Day in and day out, Braswell has been hitting the gym in order to develop his game. Braswell’s lifting regimen has also given him many style points. His arms have developed like no other in the league.
Braswell said, “Being in the gym has obviously done a lot for my body. However, I think that it benefits me beyond actual skill improvement. Yes, I’ve got more range beyond the 3-point line, and I find myself pulling up from as far as half-court sometimes. Yet, my muscles themselves really help out in terms of just leaving the defense distracted and in awe.”
Furthermore, his self-proclaimed vertical has miraculously improved to 36 inches, allowing him to have a great presence around the hoop with rebounds.
Braswell’s air of confidence can be mistaken for arrogance, but, with his athleticism, he proves that he is entitled to that confidence. Although the Orange Team lost in the first round of the playoffs, Braswell is prepared to lead his team to victory next year and will put in the work during the offseason.
Sean Pan ’17 – Anjunae Chandran
According to himself, Sean Pan ’17 of the Black Team is truly proficient in the realm of basketball.
Pan said, “I’m a stud both on and off the court.”
As this is his first year playing Intramural Basketball, Pan surprised himself with his superior basketball ability both offensively and defensively.
Using his athletic prowess, Pan demonstrates a tremendous proficiency in defending, shooting, and driving. He also has a rare mastery of the euro-step form of a layup, a maneuver rarely seen in Varsity Basketball Games, let alone Intramural Basketball.
Pan said, “Basketball isn’t easy. All my life I’ve been striving to make myself better. It’s a full-time commitment. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships. I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I want to be the next Sean Pan.”
So far this year, the Black Team has had a very memorable season. After starting the season slowly, the addition of Pan from a mid season trade has revitalized the squad. Teams with Pan have lost only two games over the course of the Intramural Season.
Pan said, “I want to thank my teammates and fans for all the support they’ve given me throughout the season.”
With hopes of participating the upcoming Cluster Basketball Finals, Pan hopes to maintain his level of play and drive his team into the Finals.
Asa Ackerly ’17 – Reuben Philip
Asa Ackerly ’17 has been a quiet powerhouse for the White Team this season, bringing his unique style of steadfast play to Phillips Academy’s DiClemente Court in hopes of securing a spot in the Intramural Basketball Championship.
Coming off of a two-year stint with Andover Boys Junior Varsity Basketball, Ackerly has accumulated valuable knowledge about the game from Head Coach Kevin O’Connor. Ackerly also possesses a strong background of basketball from his hometown of San Francisco, California, where he was known to tear up local courts on a regular basis. His veteran basketball intelligence has allowed him to thrive this season.
On the court, Ackerly relies on a strong background in the fundamentals: he dribbles with purpose and shoots with his elbows in. His hard work in the gym after practices also greatly improves his game.
Ackerly said, “[Andover is home to] a blue-collar brand of basketball. I let that mentality carry me on and off the courts. It’s not just a style of play, it’s a lifestyle, it’s a vibe. It’s about the grind. It’s about sticking to the fundamentals. It’s about the three ‘P’s: Precise, Purposeful Passing. I came out of San Francisco, but I was reborn [on] these courts.”
Nithish Kalpat ’18 – Akshay Mundra
Nithish Kalpat ’18, a member of the Blue Team, has cemented himself as an elite sharpshooter this season. Kalpat’s court vision and nearly-unlimited range make him difficult for any opponent to guard. His shooting prowess has even drawn N.B.A. comparisons from some of his teammates.
Patrick Doheny ’18, one of Kalpat’s teammates, said, “I would compare him to Kelly Olynyk or Jonas ‘Winter Storm’ Jerebko. When you look at him, you don’t say, ‘Wow, I bet he [drains] it from deep,’ but he is an offensive wizard.”
Kalpat utilizes intimidation; while fans see him as a quiet contributor on the court, Kalpat’s opponents express a far different sentiment.
“Another specialty in his arsenal is his ability to get in his opponents’ heads,” said White team member Fred Pan ’18. “Wherever he is on the court, he will make sure to chirp you hard. If you chirp him back, you will pay, as he drains most of his shots [despite] any distraction.”
A humble Kalpat said, “My teammates deserve a lot of credit for the Blue Team’s success. We have a lot of playmakers, sharpshooters and defensive specialists.”
Kalpat secured 10 wins for the Blue Team, enough to earn the second seed in the Intramural Basketball playoffs. Kalpat looks to continue his success by beating the Black Team and advancing to the semifinals.
Ben Ringer ’18 – Akesh Shah
Benjamin Ringer ’18 has been a force on the White Team this season, using his shooting ability to rack up points for his team. After winning its first six games of the season, the White Team has lost every single subsequent game. Despite its recent struggles, the team has its sights set on the Intramural Basketball Championship.
Ringer’s precise shots and boisterous celebrations have driven the White Team to extreme success.
Fred Pan ’18, one of Ringer’s teammates, said, “Ringer is an offensive juggernaut. He scores a variety of shots from anywhere on the court. You name it, he’s made it.”
Ringer said, “I line up face to face and I shoot it in their mouth. After I proceed to make it, I call ‘Mouth.’ I have this celebration [act, in which] my hand gets too hot and I get someone to cool it down for me. I call this the Ringer Finger.”
On the court, Ringer plays an independent game, valuing the team’s success as his first priority.
“My team is great, but I go out there and ball. Sometimes I don’t even realize they’re next to me,” said Ringer. “If taking all the shots is what I have to do to get the win, well then that’s what I’ll do.”
Emily Anderson ’16 – Ananda Kao
By taking the jump ball at the start of each game and hanging out under the basket to put up shots when teammates pass to her, Emily Anderson ’16 stands out within the Maroon Team.
Anderson brings height, as well as a few years of experience to the team as she used to play competitive basketball at home.
Throughout the season, the Maroon Team placed a significant amount of emphasis on the offensive end.
Anderson said, “We all just kind of run around on offense. All of us play every position at the same time – except defense. We never do that.”
Improving on its stellar offense, Anderson played a critical role in convincing fellow teammate Roberto Rabines ’16 to shoot facing forward.
“Until about the middle of the season, [Rabines] insisted on shooting exclusively reverse hook shots,” said Anderson.
Although the Maroon Team had a slow start, its regular season record stands with five wins, putting it in a tie for sixth place. Anderson and the rest of the Maroon Team, nevertheless, aspire to win it all.
Anderson said, “We only have won the past two games, I think. I aspire nonetheless to win the championship.”