In addition to being Andover Boys Basketball’s leading rebounder, Sam Kumler ’21 has scored 47 points so far this season. From New Concord, Ohio, Kumler brings 13 years of experience to the Andover Boys Basketball team. According to teammate Ray Shoemaker ’20, Kumler’s basketball knowledge and smart plays are an asset to creating opportunities for the team during games.
Shoemaker said, “[Kumler] is a natural born leader. In practice and during the games he works as hard as he can. He’s probably our leading rebounder right now. He defends any player—he can defend teams’ best player—and that’s just what makes him such a great player and such an essential part of our team; just because of his hard work and dedication to the sport.”
Kumler’s skill and work ethic has earned him the accolade of The Phillipian’s Athlete of the Week.
When did you start playing basketball and how were you introduced to the sport?
I started playing basketball before I can remember. I was probably five or six years old. As long as I can remember I’ve had a basketball in my hands. My dad introduced the sport to me and my entire family plays, so I’ve played ever since.
What’s your favorite part of the sport?
My favorite part of basketball is definitely that it’s a team sport. I love team sports, the camaraderie you find on a team is irreplaceable, as well as how physical and competitive the sport is. People don’t always think as basketball as a contact sport but is really is. At Andover, [Head Coach Terrell Ivory ’00] makes basketball really special. He’s just a great guy. He’s hilarious, but also really motivating to me.
What position do you play and how were you introduced to this position?
I play point guard. I’ve always played that position just because of my height. I like being able to distribute the ball as well as being able to get up and down the court.
Do you have a favorite memory with the team?
My favorite memory from this team by far was last year’s game against Worcester [Academy]. They came into our house undefeated and we had a rocky start, but we were able to come back and push the game to overtime. We managed to beat them towards the end in a very, very tight game. It was crazy, the place was packed, it was so loud and the game was great.
Do you have a role model on the team?
A lot of people see [Co-Captain Dallion Johnson ’20] as a role model just because of how good he is as basketball and he’s a fantastic player, but he’s also a really good leader. He’s one of those silent, lead-by-example types of people.
What’s your favorite team tradition?
I would say meals and bus rides are my favorite parts—just being there and hanging out with each other. The team is hilarious. There are so many different personalities and so many funny people in different ways. To put us all together and to just have us talk is hilarious every single time.
Do you have a favorite basketball player?
I would choose John Stockton just because of he’s just such a smart player. Even though he was also slightly undersized, he was still quick and always made the right decision.
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
I listen to music pre-game to get in the right mindset and get hyped. A lot of it is just getting your mind ready to basically do battle. Like I said, basketball, it really is a contact sport, and you have to give 110 percent every time you’re out there. You have to get your mind in that mindset to be able to do that.