Each Thursday, The Crimson will compile a series of unique statistics about Harvard's sports scene. Welcome to the Magic of Numbers—without the problem sets. We'll do the math for you.
CRIMSON TEAMS SPRING INTO ACTION
10: Number of teams featured in the Magic of Numbers countdown.
9: Number of groundballs and goals junior midfielder Melanie Baskind has picked up this season. She leads the women’s lacrosse team in groundballs.
8: Number of victories sophomore Thomas Kolasa racked up in the men's sabre competition for Harvard during the first day of the NCAA fencing championship. He led the squad and is currently in ninth place overall.
7: Number of positions Harvard held in the top-15 at NCAA Northeast Region Championship. Freshman Alexandra Kiefer took the top spot in foil while, junior Noam took the title in epee.
6: Number of seniors on lightweight women’s crew.
5: Number of victories men’s lacrosse has attained so far this season.
At the tender age of 14, Temi Fagbenle swapped her tennis racket for basketball shoes in order to increase her chances of gaining admission to a top university. So, she relocated for the fourth time—having previously moved to London from Baltimore and Nigeria—to Blairstown, New Jersey to attend Blair Academy and focus on her on-court game.
Almost four years later, the current high school senior’s sacrifices paid off: Fagbenle has attracted her fair share of Division I offers from the likes of Duke, Boston College and Georgetown, but settled on Harvard with ease.
"Well it's Harvard," she said during her athlete of the week interview for SportsIllustrated.com. "There really wasn't much competition."
The 6’4” forward averages 16.6 points and 9.3 rebounds, and is known to be defensive threat too. Along with her current SportsIllustrated.com Athlete of the week honor, Fagbenle earned a variety of other accolades including the New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year, McDonald's All-American honors, and an invitation to train with England for the European Championships.
Now that she’s committed to Harvard, Fagbenle looks forward to maintaining solid grades—like her 3.4 GPA in high school—, and a close relationship with her 11 siblings, but also looks forward to the opportunity to help the women’s basketball team to their first Ivy League title since 2007.
Despite the Harvard baseball team’s 1-13 start to the season, not all is lost with the Crimson able to ride the strong play of senior pitcher Max Perlman.
The 6-foot-7, 230-pound right-hander heads into the weekend with a 1.40 ERA and 19 strikeouts in just over 19 innings.
Perlman pointed out his offseason dedication as the key for his impressive start.
“[I] worked very hard in the offseason and had a good experience this past summer when I got to play with some guys that were very good and will definitely play professional baseball,” Perlman said. “I definitely learned from them.”
The snow might’ve belied the fact that yesterday was indeed the beginning of spring. And with the new season, much of the focus of the Ivy League sports scene transitions from the rinks and the courts to the fields and the courses. But, we haven’t quite wrapped up all of the winter sports yet, as one Ancient Eight team has some serious work left to do. So let’s kibitz in another edition of Around the Water Cooler.
Of course, the Princeton men’s basketball team went to the Big Dance after beating Harvard in a one-game playoff. Then, the Tigers got a taste of karma in the first round, losing to Kentucky 59-57. While the women’s side didn’t get nearly the same coverage, the Princeton team also punched its ticket to the tournament by winning the Ivy League crown. But once more, the Tigers failed to make it past the opening game, falling to fifth-seed Georgetown, 65-49.
Though football season passed months ago, the Harvard football team’s work is still not done. In addition to bruising and beating down its opponents on the field, the team also works hard for the community. This Friday, March 25th, the team will be holding a blood drive to help the American Red Cross with its efforts to save those in need.