Boys Basketball Dominates in Record-Breaking Season


Zach Lewis '24

From left: Johnnie Walter ’22, Aaron Tandatnick ’22, and Kenny Noland ’22.

Kenny Noland ’22 is a new Senior and captain of the Boys Varsity Basketball team this year. Johnnie Walter ’22 is a new Senior and player on the Boys Varsity Basketball team. Four-year Senior Aaron Tandatnick ’22 is the team’s manager and Director of Basketball Operations.

How do you think Hotchkiss has helped you improve as a player during your time here? Who has helped you improve and why?

Johnnie Walter: I think my teammates have made me a lot better. Going against good players everyday makes a big impact. I also think Coach Adam Turner has been really helpful. He was the coach of a college team for a while, and now that he’s come down to the high school level, he’s brought a lot of knowledge that only college coaches have. He’s really helped me build a better mindset and improve in ways that I never knew I could.

Kenny Noland: I feel like being able to play against pretty high level guys everyday pushes me to become a better player. Also our coaches, Coach Turner and Coach Yassine Talhaoui, have challenged me to think about the game more and read the game better.

What are some of your strong points as a team?

JW: I think we’re very good at transitioning and playing fast, and forcing the other team to play at an uncomfortable pace. Our defense is strong, which creates offensive opportunities, so when we get stops, we push it and the opposing team can’t set up in time. That gets us easy baskets.

Are there any new challenges the team is facing? What’s changed since previous years?

Aaron Tandatnick: This year we have a completely new team apart from JJ Paul ’22 and I, so our main challenge is finding a way to play and gel together; however, I think the team this year is a lot more cohesive. Even though we’ve only started at the beginning of the year, we’ve really come together over the course of the season.

Do you think a close group dynamic helps you do better as a team?

KN: I think it helps a lot because it establishes a level of trust. Since we’re all really good friends and genuine with each other, playing on the court makes trust that much easier.

AT: The close dynamic allows you to be honest with people, since they know what you say is coming from the right place, especially if it’s more constructive. At the end of the day, everyone here wants to win the championship. If everybody has the same goals in mind, as well as that trust, we can hold each other accountable.

Can you talk a little about a favorite memory or a highlight from the season so far?

KN: One time we played in the Brooklyn Nets arena in Barclays Center. Since we stayed in New York as a team, we had a night out in the city. It was a fun experience being able to hang out with the guys outside of school. The game itself was also a once in a lifetime opportunity — playing in an NBA arena with your friends is crazy.