Leaving their mark

The senior class says goodbye to their legacy

As the senior men’s basketball players reflected on their time together at Lafayette, Seth Hinrichs could think of one piece of advice.

“Leave it better than you found it,” senior Seth Hinrichssaid.

The men’s basketball senior class of Alan Flannigan, Dan Trist, Joey Ptasinski and Hinrichs exemplified what Hinrichs claims to be the best advice from head coach Fran O’Hanlon over his four-year career.

After finishing their freshman season with a record of 13-18, they turned Lafayette into a perennial contender in the Patriot League, having reached the championship game twice and being victorious this past season. A large part of this was due to the efforts of the first trio of 1,000-point scorers in Lafayette’s history—Ptasinski, Trist and Hinrichs. The seniors, however, give much credit to their mentor and coach Fran O’Hanlon.

“Coach O is a perfectionist in the imperfect game,” Flannigan said. “He’s very specific with detail and it’s a mentality we’ve adapted to over the past four years. He instills a mindset of striving for perfection.”

Coach O’Hanlon has also provided them with other skills that go beyond the gym.

“Coach O has taught us a lot of basketball knowledge, but he also has taught us a lot of things to use later in life as well,” Ptasinskisaid.

“We’re going to miss Coach O,” Trist added. “There’s not many people out there quite like him, that’s for sure.”

There’s certainly no denying that coach O’Hanlon played a vital role in the team’s success.  Even though the senior class likes to deflect the attention towards him, they are also worthy of high praise for the success of the team in the past four years.

During their time at Lafayette they racked up a total of 63 wins, including six in the Patriot League Tournament. As a group, they’ve scored 4394 points in their career. Arguably the strongest recruiting class under coach O’Hanlon and quite possibly in the school’s history, they certainly have backed it up with the numbers. They also hope to pass their strong work habits down to the underclassmen so that they can one day achieve the same success as their peers.

“You got to realize how quick it goes, like the four years went by ridiculously fast,” Ptasinski said. “So just have a sense of urgency from the start and not take anything for granted is what I tell them.”

“Another Coach O saying is, ‘Make each day your masterpiece.’” Hinrichs added.“I think there was a lot of work put into winning a championship…You can’t discount each and every day as insignificant as you think it may be.”

When it came to what they were going to miss the most, all of them said the one thing: the team

“I’m going to miss joking around with the team,” Tristsaid. “It’s different than friend group, it’s more genuine in a way. The locker room, the bus, the hotel, basically the whole experience is what I’m going to miss.”

“We spend at least four hours every day with each other and that’s not including travel and living with each other,” Ptasinski added. “There’s just so much time spent together; it’s a unique experience.”

Although this group achieved much success at the collegiate level, it seems as if this might be the end of most of their basketball careers. Only one player wants to continue to play basketball at a higher level.

“I’d like to keep playing in Europe or somewhere professionally,” Hinrichssaid.

Trist, who previously played for the U-19 Australian national team during the U-19 world championship, does not plan on pursuing professional basketball.

Overall, this group of seniors left an incredible mark on the school: something that is exemplified by the Patriot League Championship trophy displayed in the hallway of the Kirby Sports Center. Through their various accomplishments and accolades they obtained throughout these past four years, they certainly left the team better than they found it.

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Seniors Joey Ptasinki and Dan Trist joined the 1,000-point club in their tenures at Lafayette. [Photos by Hana Isihara ‘17]
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Seniors Joey Ptasinki and Dan Trist joined the 1,000-point club in their tenures at Lafayette. [Photos by Hana Isihara ‘17]

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