Toughest Places to Play: Basketball

Updated: Mar 19

Although all prep schools have money to spend, some schools go above and beyond for their basketball facilities, while others lack the same dedication. Due to a wide variety of size, quality, and feel, some courts are much harder to play on than others. Here are four of the most difficult, according to a current Varsity basketball player. Keep in mind, just because a school is good at ball, doesn’t mean it’s hard to play there.


Deerfield Academy

Picture a cave with 300 lacrosse players on one side, and thirteen opposing basketball players on the other, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what it’s like to play at Deerfield. Their tradition of going absolute apeshit after they score their seventh point of the game doesn’t help either. They do their research, too: I can say from personal experience that they knew the name of the girl I was currently getting with. They managed to coordinate a chant of her name with over 200 kids, and holy shit was I rattled. Why? Well, she was kinda beat. Not to mention, when you pull up and see someone like Bennett Pitcher catching lobs with the body of a truck, then cashing threes from distance, it gets even scarier.


The Hotchkiss School

The Hotchkiss basketball team benefits from a cramped, up-close-and-personal environment. Bearcat fans are constantly being scolded by refs for being on the court and opposing players are heckled from inches away. Not exaggerating. Additionally, opponents have to spend forty minutes getting chirped from directly across the court by the intellectually-inclined fan section. Kids often take seating matters into their own hands with the appearance of a comfortable couch set up in the corner of the court. Also, check out @HotchkissHoops on Instagram. One of the best accounts in prep school.


Kent School:

They’re bad, and their fans suck. No offense, it’s just basketball.


The Loomis Chaffee School

Loomis’s advantage doesn’t stem from their fans but from inherent intimidation. Maybe it’s the multitude of 7-footers, Division 1 commits throwing down windmill dunks in “layup” lines, or the college-like courts fitted with a gorgeous sound system, but all the confidence we had at home went down the drain when we stepped foot in the gym. Let me tell you, the most demoralizing thing to see was a 5’6” white boy get his head above the rim. The kid had bounce; it was scary as hell. This team took home the championship this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that tradition continued.


Westminster School

Westminster’s edge is certainly unorthodox: slippery floors that haven’t been cleaned in years, lights so dim that you literally can’t see the rim from the other side of the court, and a balcony so old that it threatens to collapse on the opposing team’s bench. Also, the “fans,” which are only parents, because no kids ever want to spend a moment in the athletic center, are some of the trashiest you’ve ever heard. Some of their comments are so off-color that you actually stop for a moment and think, “Did that 50-year-old really just use an archaic racial slur?”


And shit, it all goes to waste because their team sucks.


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