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Two Schools’ Faculties Play Basketball; Build Friendships

Shanshan Chen, Reporter

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NEWSROOM – Faculty from the Stanwich School and Greenwich Country Day School (GCDS) started a weekly mixed basketball game this winter, which is the first interactive activity held for faculty from the two schools.

Mr. Lehn, the Science Department Chair of GCDS, was the first person to initiate this activity.  The e-mail he sent to invite interested teachers was then forwarded to all the Stanwich faculty.

According to Mr. Lehn, the primary goal is to break a sweat, not to get injured, and to build some camaraderie.  

Mr. Lehn explained how basketball is one of the best ways to get to know people.

“I’m biased as a former athlete, but I see a bunch of factors.  First, there isn’t pressure/need to hit it off right away or engage in smooth dialogue… A huge one, as with any team sport, is you are working together toward a common goal.  Even though winning the game didn’t make my priorities list for Wednesday Night Hoops, I agree with Herman Edwards that ‘you play to win the game.’  A final piece that sticks out is the sportsmanship; there are countless opportunities to say ‘great pass,’ ‘good D,’ ‘nice cut, I’ll hit you next time,’ or ‘good game.’  Seeing how people play basketball is usually an honest indicator of their personality.”

Mr. Feder, Upper School math teacher, Mr. Hughes, Upper School history teacher, Mr. Combatti, 3rd grade teacher, and Mr. Katona, Upper School history teacher, were the four representatives from Stanwich.

The faculty members have met every Wednesday night at GCDSs campus in Alumni gym.  There were not only faculty from Stanwich and GCDS, but also friends of GCDSs teachers.  Participants were mixed up into teams, instead of being divided by school.  Mr. Hughes shared some of his thoughts on the game.

The first time we were there, they were very welcoming and were introducing themselves.  It felt good to meet a few people and know their names.  We played this pick-up basketball game with the teams mixed. And everyone was about the same level.

Mr. Lehn also made comments on how the games have gone so far.

No one is trying to make the NBA (except for Donovan Mitchell ’12!); just like the GCDS teachers, they pass to the open guy (we’ve had plenty of women play in the past but not this year), hustle back on defense, and make self-deprecating jokes when age/speed/ability get in the way.

Mr. Hughes hopes there will be future interactive activities between the two schools, due to the success of the basketball games. 

The game helps to demystify the things a little bit.  Id like to see more opportunities, since I know some other faculty who dont play basketball are looking for other opportunities to meet people (from GCDS).

As Mr. Hughes explained, the Stanwich community is willing to participate in more events, similar to the mixed basketball games, in order to make the integration process smoother and better.

Story by Shanshan Chen, Reporter

Edited by Maeve Sebold, Editor-in-Chief

If viewing this story in email, please click on the headline above for any graphics/videos/pictures.

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Two Schools’ Faculties Play Basketball; Build Friendships