Monday, November 24, 2014

Chappaqua's Townsend Wins Rhodes

Matt Townsend '15 (above) had plans to attend medical school after Yale and after his basketball career. But he'll make a first stop in Oxford to study medical anthropology. (Yale Athletics photos)

Matt Townsend '15, a Chappaqua resident who starred at Horace Greeley High School in basketball and was valedictorian in his class there, has won a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University next year, according to Yale and the Rhodes Trust.

At Yale, Townsend is a senior forward on the basketball team and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  He is majoring in molecular, cellular and developmental biology. He has averaged 6 points/game and 4 rebounds/game, playing as a starter most of the time, in his sophmore and junior seasons, combined.
Townsend's weekend of Nov. 21-23 was hectic, busy, anxiety-filled. He missed two Yale games because he was interviewing in finalist rounds in New York when the team was on the road.  Once interviews were done and he learned he had won the scholarship, he joined the team in Ohio Nov. 23 where the Elis were about to play Kent State in a tournament.  With the Rhodes now secured, Townsend celebrated by leading the team to a 66-59 victory, scoring 12 points.

Yale has started this season at 4-1. It finished last year at 19-14, as Townsend won the Derby Award for academics for the third year in a row.  He was also selected to the Academic All-Ivy team (winter sports) and the Capital One Academic All-America Team.

The team plays NCAA defending champion UConn Dec. 5 in Storrs, Ct.  It won't start Ivy League competition until after the holidays (Jan. 17 at Brown).

At Horace Greeley, Townsend averaged 29 points/game during the 2010-11 season and played with the Graves brothers (Teddy and Earl, III), the sons of Earl Graves, Jr. '84, who many argue is one of Yale's best basketball players ever and one of the best to have played at Scarsdale High School.

At Oxford, Townsend will study medical anthropology and defer attending medical school (his original plans since going to Yale).  Three other students and graduate of Yale also earned Rhodes Scholarships:  Jordan Konell '15, Jane Darby Menton '15, and Gabriel Zucker '12. With four, Yale led the nation in Rhodes Scholarships this fall. Last year, Isabel Beshar '14 of Rye won the scholarship.

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