Hamel ’10 Walks On To Harvard Basketball

After two long weeks of playing in pickup games with the Harvard basketball team, Tom Hamel ’10 was invited by the coaches to attend team workouts. A week of workouts later, the coaches approached Hamel in the gym and said, “Congratulations, welcome to the team.” “I was ecstatic even though I couldn’t really process it at first. I knew I’d worked for it, but I had a hard time believing that it actually worked out,” said Hamel, “I’m thrilled to be a part of this team. The program is gaining respect around the country, and it’s time for us to take the next step to prominence. It would be awesome to be even a small part of that.” Andover Basketball Coach Leon Modeste said, “Nothing Tom Hamel ever does will surprise me. He’s just that kind of guy. Making the Harvard Basketball team just shows what kind of character and drive Tom has. He’s going to go far in this world, and he’s going to take a lot of people with him.” As soon as he was accepted at Harvard this past Spring, Hamel knew he would be headed to Cambridge come the Fall. Although he wasn’t a starter at Andover, Hamel planned to prepare himself to try out for the basketball team at Harvard. Going into tryouts, Hamel’s mentality was to just give it everything he had. “I figured they would at least give me a look because of my height, and I was hopeful that they might need an extra body. My only goal was to play like I had nothing to lose, empty the tank every time out, and see where that got me,” he said. To prepare for the tryouts, Hamel trained four days a week at the Institute of Performance and Fitness in Andover over the summer. The grueling workouts helped Hamel get into excellent shape and add some muscle to his 6’9” frame. Once he unpacked his bags at Harvard, he began to play pickup games with the team, and then attended the workouts where his time at IPF allowed him to complete the demanding workouts designed by the coaches. The summer workouts also made him quicker and stronger on the court, which helped him get noticed by the coaches in the pickup games. “The games and tryouts were intense. The level of athleticism and sheer size of the players were much different than I was used to,” he said. Despite this, Hamel made it through and showed the coaches the desire and hard work that characterized his time with Andover Basketball. As for his expectations for this year, Hamel knows his role on the team. “I don’t expect to get much game time this year. I just want to work as hard as I can in practice and make the veterans better,” said Hamel. Hamel, being his humble self, attributes all his success to the help of others. He said, “I’d also just like to say thank you to those who were a part of my athletic experience at PA: my coaches, my trainers and especially my teammates. They, along with my family, inspired me to try to achieve this next level of athletics and see how far I can go with it.”