The last minute of any game is a nail-biter, and the Wellesley vs. Babson recreational basketball game on Dec 7 was especially so. With a score of 29-28, all Wellesley needed was to maintain their one-point lead. When the buzzer rang with the ball in Wellesley’s possession, the crowd of fans sitting on the floor went wild. That game was the second time that Wellesley had beaten Babson’s recreational basketball team in their two games of the fall semester.
Wellesley’s recreational basketball group was started by Jordan Synodi ’22 and Arushi Bhandari ’22 this year out of a desire to be involved in Wellesley Athletics without the time commitment of a varsity team. The Wellesley PERA rule is that you cannot have a club sport if that sport is offered at the varsity level, so Synodi and Bhandari started the group knowing it would lack the resources of an officially recognized team. Synodi and Bhandari are cautious to define themselves as a team, so as to comply with PERA’s guidelines: “We are a group of Wellesley students that play basketball and travel to play other teams. I would say that defines us as a “rec team” but we don’t want any trouble from PERA,” says Synodi.
Without a coach, all practices and games are organized by Synodi and Bhandari, using GroupMe to coordinate with other members and working with the front desk of Wellesley Athletics to reserve spaces and equipment. On weekends without games against other teams, Wellesley’s rec basketball group has an internal scrimmage.
Synodi remarks that despite not being an officially recognized team, the recreational basketball group has been an absolute success. “We had a great first fall semester, and even though Wellesley won’t officially support us Arushi and I are committed to keeping this group going,” said Synodi about the undefeated group. Look out for their games coming up in the Spring against Boston-area schools like Babson and Harvard, and follow @wellesleyrecbball on instagram to keep up with the group!