By: Greg Levinsky
HANOVER, NH – Sitting in his second floor room at Holderness School, then-senior basketball captain Sukhmail Mathon felt an unexpected spray of water. Freshman Karl Jeannot found it humorous to spray water toward Mathon’s window, little did he know the window was open. The water trickled through the screen.
Mathon was reminded of the innocuous incident on Thursday night as the Boston University men’s basketball team traveled to Dartmouth College, falling 78-68 at Leede Arena. The sophomore center’s old prep school squad traveled approximately 60 miles west to Dartmouth’s campus to catch one of their own before hitting a tournament in the area in the coming weekend.
“It’s definetly special,” Mathon said. “It’s always good to keep a relationship with your high school team.”
Mathon was never really mad at Jeannot, who said he views Mathon as “a great role model.” While at Holderness, Mathon served as a leader by example.
“The biggest thing I learned from him is how valuable work ethic and how good he was with consistency,” Jeannot said.
Now as a college sophomore, Mathon offers the Holderness junior guidance in many facets of his life.
“He sends me the stuff that he does diet wise as I’m trying to stay in shape,” Jeannot said. “Also guidance wise trying to stay out of trouble, doing well in the classroom and making sure my grades are straight.”
Fifth-year Holderness head coach Woody Kampmann said Mathon set a prime example for the younger players around him.
“I talk about him a lot, especially with the younger guys,” Kampmann said. “You can be a good player, a good student, but you have to work at it… only positive things to say about him.”
Mathon has started all 11 of the Terriers’ games this season. He scored five points and added two rebounds and assists each against Dartmouth. He appeared in all 31 of BU’s games last year, averaging 2.6 points and 2.9 rebounds across 11.5 minutes per game. This season he’s playing just under 17 minutes per game, posting averages of 4.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
His tireless work ethic dates back to his Holderness days, said Kampmann, who coached Mathon for all three of his seasons at the school.
“In terms of work ethic and doing the right things and setting the tone, he made himself into a Division 1 player,” Kampmann said. “If he could get into the gym after dinner or get extra work with the strength coach he would. He was trying to take the initiative.”
Efficiency has been key to Mathon’s game, as the 6-foot-10, 220-pounder is shooting 55.3 percent from the field. He has expanded his range, nailing his first two career three-pointers this year.
Mathon also hasn’t forgotten his Holderness roots, helping those like Jeannot find their path.
“I always tried to help out the younger kids when I was in high school, show them the ropes,” Mathon said. “You try to get them in the gym and try to get them better and give them advice whether it’s basketball or outside of basketball.”
Greg Levinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GregLevinsky