CU adds new club hoops team

Do you love playing basketball, yet don’t have the time or skills to commit to a collegiate varsity program?

Or perhaps you are looking for something a little more competitive and challenging than what pick-up or intramurals have to offer? Well good news Spartans, because Castleton University is starting a club basketball team!

Senior Kyle Haley is spearheading the program. Playing pick-up and intramural basketball throughout his time here, Haley said he realized there was a growing interest in the sport among students. And with only one year left, he wanted to make a lasting impact at Castleton and found establishing this program would serve that purpose.

Haley began the process of making this team a reality by contacting Chris Chapdelaine, the women’s varsity soccer coach who also coordinates club teams as well. Meetings were held at the beginning of the year and before they knew it, a constitution was drafted and the ball was rolling!

Kurtis Swahn is the team’s vice president, as well as a player. His role includes ensuring they have all the equipment they need, helping with budgeting, and scheduling gym time. As a current sports management major, Swahn has always had a passion for sports, especially basketball.

He played basketball in high school and wanted something more competitive than intramurals.

“On the administrative side, I want to continue developing the program and get kids involved. A lot of kids just want to get in the gym and have gym time, so it’s good to have a club that players are interested and we hope the team retains its numbers going forward in the future years,” Swahn said.

Tryouts were held and it was determined there would be an A squad that travels for games and a B squad that only plays at home.

“The first meeting I held we had 35 players show up, so I made the decision to have two teams. Once I said that, the numbers dropped, but we still had way too many for one team, so we had to do the A and B squads,” Haley said.

Nick Lenhard, a graduate assistant at Castleton, is excited to coach of the club team for its first year. He has been an avid hoops fan and player since he was six. He is also a former high school and college player in Colorado, Iowa, and Maine, as well as former high school basketball and club coach.

“At the club level, it’s not all about winning or losing. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s really more about getting students out here participating and offering another organized athletic program for them to play in other than the varsity team. Keeping the numbers up is a success within itself,” he said. “Winning games is certainly important to me, but it’s also important that everyone embraces their role with the team and has fun.”

Games are now being scheduled for the upcoming season, with the first game most likely to be against UVM’s club team.

“If somebody wants to play us that’s two-and-a-half hours away (or closer), we will go and play them. That is what the club is for, to have fun and play some games,” Haley added.

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