Meet your new favorite basketball team: The Donut Holes


Jonathan Saloman

The Donut Holes preparing to lose

Arianna Sonnenburg

“Wow, what a great team!” are words you’ll probably never hear at a Donut Holes intramural basketball game. The team is made up of a motley crew of mortals mostly from Waldock Hall who are generally inexperienced basketball players. Why are they taking on more serious teams like the OGs, the Full Sendys, or Unleavened Bread, you may ask? Although their stats are among the lowest in Master’s intramural history, this group is undoubtedly making the most of their time as a team.

“Their main priority in playing intramural basketball is to have fun,” said intramural referee and kinesiology major Katelyn Saulog.

One player from an opposing team, Mauricio Farrell of Slight Hall, thinks they have unlocked the secret of intramural sports. For the past two years, Farrell has tried to put a team like the Donut Holes together.

“They came together as a group and said, ‘We wanna be a joke,’” Farrell commented. “It’s perfectly worked out for them, I think, because they have no care in the world, and they still have a fun time when they lose by 40 points or so.”

The captain and instigator of this team, computer science major Ian Andersen, whose basketball experience includes “one basketball camp when [he] was eleven years old for like three days,” says that he brought this team together for the purpose of having fun.

Biblical exposition major Josh Garber, was easily convinced by his roommate Ian to join when Andersen said to him, “Let’s make a basketball team, it will be funny.”

Andersen had a specific mission for the team in mind when he began recruiting members.

“We don’t take it very seriously. I mean it’s intramural at a little tiny school,” laughed Andersen. He went on, “I think a lot of people take it pretty seriously which is kinda funny to me at least cause like, you know, you’re not in the NBA or something. You’re like not even good enough to get on the basketball team here, but some people take it very seriously.”

Considering the team’s combined experience in basketball averages about three weeks all together, they probably shouldn’t take it too seriously.

“Score-wise we’re not doing very great, but we have fun and I’d say we’re improving,” Andersen said.

“We know we’re probably not gonna win anything.” Garber said. “It’s just to be goofy and relax after a lot of school.”

A recent addition to the basketball team is Levi Davies, a freshmen pre-med major with a “thin grasp of the game of basketball.” When Davies was invited to join the team, he couldn’t say no.

“They’re not there to win,” Davies emphasized. “They’re just there to play, which is part of the draw for me.”

But the Donut Holes have been practicing for their games, and they are beginning to see a slim chance at victory.

“The fact that we can block shots and score on them means we can win,” said Nathaniel Brill, junior Bible major and team member of the Donut Holes. “I say this with playing Smash too. If you can zero stock someone once, then you can three stock them at zero every single time you play. It’s just a matter of, are you gonna play as hard as you can?”

And they do play hard. Don’t let their light-hearted attitudes fool you”— there is some method and organization to this mess of madness on the basketball court.

“We have more organization, and I think we’ve improved a little bit,” Garber observed. “The other teams are a lot better than us, so we haven’t won yet and it normally hasn’t really been close at all.”

The Donut Holes don’t let their losses devastate them. They realize their shortcomings and make an effort to get better — all while cracking jokes and enjoying themselves.

“I wouldn’t say they’re not good,” Saulog paused, choosing her words carefully. “They’re just getting started. You know?”

Team captain, Ian Andersen is hopeful about the team’s future, but remains true to his original intent for the team.

“We’re learning about different things like what a screen is,” Andersen recalled. “That was a big thing. And we’re learning about rotation on offense, so we’re learning the basketball things.”

He maintains his initial motives for organizing the team.

“A lot of people act like it’s embarrassing to not be good at it,” Andersen analyzed. “But I think it’s more embarrassing if the quality of your character is shown to be pretty lacking in how you play. That’s more embarrassing than ‘Oh these guys lost by like 70 points.’”

One of the strengths of this team is their unfading support for one another, which is essential in a team that is “just getting started.”

Jonathan Saloman
Morgan Maycumber executing a skillful fadeaway

“They made some good shots in our game,” Farrell complimented. “Whenever they made a shot, they would just, you know, throw up the goggles,” he chuckled, throwing up the goggles himself. “Or they’ll yell at each other ‘Good job!’ but in a really loud, obnoxious, squeaky voice.”

This support system of untrained basketball players has given them an unusual outlet for jokes, hard work, and cultivating of friendships.

“It’s like a brotherhood,” said history education major and Donut Holes team member, John Wippermann. “There’s no competition. It’s all fun. I don’t think we’ve lost a game! Have we lost? I think every game is a win for us in the heart.”

They’ve even developed a fan-base who resonate deeply with the team’s main purpose. The adoring admirers love to see their classmates and friends completely failing at something they, for the most part, don’t care to be good at.

“Everyone on the team loves the team,” Josh Hilton pipped music major Josh Hilton. “I love the team. I’ve never even seen them play.”

The Donut Holes’ reputation precedes them and reminds people to laugh at themselves and to try new things — following the example of the grotesquely under-qualified team members of the Donut Holes.

“If they’re still having a good time and happen to beat someone, then it’s still generic, classic Donut Hole,” Farrell stated, with a proud smile.

“Honestly we just laugh about it a lot,” Garber said, in line for ribs and rice pilaf in the cafeteria. “It’s more fun if you don’t try to take it too seriously. As long as our team just focuses on that more than trying to be super competitive, we are gonna continue to keep having a blast like we’ve been having.”

Update: The Donut Holes season ended as it started: with a loss. The Donut Holes did not make it into the intramural playoffs.