The Record is a student-run bi-weekly print newspaper with daily digital presence on pressing issues and events inside the Hotchkiss community and around the globe.

The Hotchkiss Record

The Record is a student-run bi-weekly print newspaper with daily digital presence on pressing issues and events inside the Hotchkiss community and around the globe.

The Hotchkiss Record

The Record is a student-run bi-weekly print newspaper with daily digital presence on pressing issues and events inside the Hotchkiss community and around the globe.

The Hotchkiss Record

Alumni Spotlight: Nick Townsend ’22 And Jack Molloy ’21

David Schamis/Yale Athletics
Townsend (left) and Molloy fifirst met at Hotchkiss in 2020, although they never played in an offificial game for the school.

Despite never playing an official game in a Hotchkiss jersey, Nick Townsend ’22 and Jack Molloy ’21 left a lasting impact on the school’s basketball program and now play for the Yale Bulldogs.

Townsend is a Sophomore who plays basketball at Yale. Townsend came to Hotchkiss from Chappaqua, N.Y., for his Upper Mid year. He spent his first two years of high school at Horace Greeley, where he averaged 20.9 points, 15.2 rebounds. and 3.5 assists. At Yale, Townsend is now averaging 5.8 points and 4.2 rebounds. 

Townsend earned his first double-double at Yale on November 29, contributing a team-high 24 points and 15 rebounds to the win over Stony Brook. He has started several games this year, including one in which he played all but two minutes against Princeton, and has featured heavily as Yale’s sixth man.

Molloy is a Junior on Yale’s basketball team. He is from Greenwich, Connecticut, and graduated from Northfield Mount Hermon in 2020 before spending a postgraduate year at Hotchkiss. He has averaged 1.9 points and 1.6 rebounds this year, coming off the bench in key moments for the Bulldogs. 

Despite spending a combined total of three years in Lakeville, neither Townsend nor Molloy ever played a game in a Hotchkiss jersey. When Molloy was a Postgraduate and Townsend an Upper Mid, their season was canceled due to the pandemic. The next year, Townsend was injured before the season began. 

Former Head Coach of Boys Varsity Basketball, Yassine Talahoui, who now works in admissions at Rivers Academy, credits the pair with building an environment that led to the team’s New England championship in 2022. 

Coach Talhaoui said, “I’m convinced that both of them contributed significantly without having played an official game for us. They did not just lead by example on the court in terms of their work ethic, but also in the classroom and in the hallways. They were well-respected by everyone within the community. They were model citizens. For that, I’m forever grateful as a coach.”

Yale has had a successful season so far, with an 11-2 conference record, contending for the Ivy League championship, and clinching a spot in Ivy Madness—the tournament for the league’s automatic bid to March Madness. The Bulldogs have won every conference game they’ve played so far, except for losses away at Cornell and Princeton, thought they beat both of those teams in New Haven. They play fourth-ranked Brown on Sunday. A win in that game will guarantee them at least a share of the Ivy League title.

When did you start playing basketball? 

Nick Townsend ’22: I started playing basketball competitively in third grade. That’s when I started traveling for nationals and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) stuff. My family has always been involved in basketball; my brother played at Yale about ten years ago. I just grew up around it, watching my older siblings play.

Jack Molloy ’21: I’ve been playing roughly the same time frame—basically as soon as I could get into a gym. My parents were not particular about which sport I played, and they just threw me and my brother, who’s a year younger than I am, into every sport to see what stuck. For me, it was basketball; that’s what I gravitated to. 

What were your favorite memories of playing on the school team? 

NT: I’d say the scrimmages we had with each other. We played a seven-game series. Jack’s team ended up winning, but it was a lot of fun. 

JM: Blasting the music with the guys. We didn’t have a season, but it was still like we got the whole experience of hanging out. I was a PG and during the pandemic I came to Hotchkiss, didn’t know anybody, and was only there for a year. The Covid restrictions didn’t really let us meet new people, so the guys on the basketball team were my only friends. It was incredible to have them there.

What did your recruitment processes look like?

NT: It was a little bit weird, with Covid taking away the regular high school and AAU seasons. When we were at Hotchkiss, Coach Talhaoui helped me a lot in talking to different schools and thinking through the process. 

Like Hotchkiss, I think Yale has a great combination of athletics and academics. Also, both Jack and I developed a strong relationship with the Yale coaching staff. This really helps, because knowing you have good people in your corner gives you trust about where you’re going.

JM: When talking to schools, I primarily focused on the Ivy League schools. When it comes to academics, they pretty much can’t go wrong. I think Yale was my first offer. Their combination of academics and athletics is tough to ignore, but a bunch of the Ivies can offer that to you. 

It was the coaches that separated Yale out for me, as well. I met them when I was 15. I think it felt like a no-brainer.

What have been some of your favorite memories at Yale?

NT: Going on road trips with the team is always a ton of fun. We didn’t finish in the Ivy League tournament last year, but celebrating the end of the regular season in first place was a lot of fun. 

JM: March Madness was a pretty cool memory, but I would say that being at March Madness is not nearly as cool as being part of a team that wins the Ivy League tournament. The actual experience of winning the game is more fun than going over to March Madness. That said, we’re really hoping that this year we’ll be able to win a game or two in March Madness after the Ivy tournament.

What have been the biggest differences between Hotchkiss and Yale?

NT: Hotchkiss honestly did a great job of preparing me for Yale. You need a lot of time management and independence, and I think Hotchkiss helped me a ton with that. 

JM: I might have had more work at Hotchkiss then I have currently. The Russian literature classes that Mr. Keith Moon taught, which I took both of, were great. The class size was small, which is the big difference. I feel like you’re more engaged with your classmates at Hotchkiss than you are in college.

What advice would you give to younger athletes aspiring to reach the collegiate level?

NT: Hard work will always win out. It’s easy to get caught up in a lot of different things. But if you keep your head down and keep working, good things will eventually come. Teams and coaches will realize that for sure.

JM: If you stay positive and stay in the gym, you’re gonna be fine. Listen to your coaches. You’ll end up in the right place. 

Who have been your mentors?

NT: The biggest one is my brother—watching how he handled his business and went about things, doing the small things the right way, He helped me mature and learn a lot. 

At Hotchkiss and Yale, all of the older guys have been great in helping me develop and pick up on small things. For me, Jack was definitely a great role model. It was really special for me to meet Jack at Hotchkiss and continue our friendship at Yale. 

JM: The easy answer for me is Assistant Coach Brandon Sherrod at Yale. I met him during Covid. There was a gym in Bridgeport that was open at the time and we would play pickup. He has taught me a lot, not just about basketball, but also about being a good man.

What are your goals for the rest of your college career and after you graduate?

NT: Our biggest focus right now is winning games and ultimately winning the Ivy League tournament and hopefully a few more games after that. I just want to keep improving and help the team do whatever it needs to win. 

After Yale, I think I want to become a clinical psychologist to help people facing mental health issues, which I think intensified during the pandemic.

JM: We want to win games, including the Ivy League Tournament at Columbia in a couple weeks. We’ve got the talent, the roster, and the coaching to win games in March Madness. 

After college, I’m still considering playing basketball afterwards. I have dual citizenship in Ireland, so I am thinking about going over to Europe and playing there for a bit.

How did Hotchkiss impact your life and basketball career?

NT: I’d say the relationships are probably the thing that sticks with me the most. I was only at Hotchkiss for a year, but meeting all those guys and growing up with them was super special. 

When we play different teams, especially in the Ivy League, it’s fun to see the people you played with back at Hotchkiss. 

JM: Definitely relationships. Nick, I, and our teammates were super close. Coach Talhaoui was a great man and Mr. Moon, who I still talk to today, is an incredible teacher. I saw him a couple months ago and talk to him every now and then. 

I would say that relationships are the biggest takeaway from Hotchkiss.

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