Former Crimson Athletes Remain Busy During Summer

Mark Kelsey

Christine Clark '14 is one of a slew of Crimson basketball players who inked deals abroad. Clark joined the Lavezzini Parma squad in Italy, while men's basketball players Kyle Casey '14 and Brandyn Curry '14 signed deals with Slovenian and Dutch teams, respectively.

Quite a few Harvard students, both current and graduated, had busy summers in the sports world that exists outside of Cambridge, Mass. While Crimson athletes across many sports made news this summer, basketball, football, and crew all had multiple current and former athletes making headlines.

Three former stars of Lavietes Pavilion will be taking their talents to Europe next season to continue their basketball careers after graduation. Point guard Brandyn Curry ’13-’14 and forward Kyle Casey ’13-’14 of the men’s basketball team both signed with European teams this August, following in the footsteps of shooting guard Christine Clark ’14 who signed in early June.

Clark, who is fourth all-time on the scoring list for Harvard and led the Ivy League in points per game last season, has signed with Lavezzini Parma, which plays in Italy’s A1 league.

Casey, a four-time All-Ivy Selection who finished his career third on the all-time blocks list for the Crimson, will play for Helios Domzale, a member of the Premier A Slovenian League. Curry, meanwhile, has agreed to terms with SPM Shoeters Den Bosch. The two-time Bob Cousy Award Nominee will bring a steady hand to the point for the SPM Shoeters, which plays in the Dutch Basketball League.

While the Harvard men’s and women’s basketball teams watched some of their 2014 graduates go abroad, the football team saw some of last year’s seniors agree to contracts with teams closer to home. Three players—tight end Cameron Brate, defensive lineman Nnamdi Obukwelu, and long snapper/tight end Tyler Ott—were signed as undrafted free agents this summer. Undrafted free agents are able to compete during training camp in hopes of earning a roster or practice squad spot.


Brate finished his career with the Crimson with 18 touchdowns, an impressive number for a tight end and one that puts him at fourth all-time for Harvard. The tight end was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this summer, and has now earned a spot on the practice squad.

Obukwelu, a three-time All-Ivy selection, was signed by the Indianapolis Colts before also eventually earning a spot as a practice squad player. Ott, who served as Harvard’s long snapper for four years, was signed by the New England Patriots to compete with Danny Aiken at long snapper before being released on August 18th.

In current Crimson player news, linebacker Zach Hodges has racked up multiple preseason honors, including being named to the Butkus Award Watch List, which is given to the nation’s best college linebacker of any level. Senior offensive lineman Nick Easton joined Hodges in being named to the FCS preseason All-American team.

While summer may be considered the offseason for many football and basketball players, a few Harvard rowers spent their break competing for their countries in both the World Rowing Championships and the U23 World Rowing Championships.

10 current members and one graduate joined lightweight assistant coach Linda Muri at the U23 World Rowing Championships, with four competing for the US.

Andrew Campbell ’14 raced in the lightweight single sculls, while sophomore Chris Wales rowed in the lightweight double sculls. Fellow sophomore Chase Buchholz competed in a coxless four, and senior Alexander Bonorris was chosen in the lightweight four. Campbell won gold in the event for the second year in a row, backing up his gold in 2013 that made him the first ever American to win the event. Alexander Bonorris and the lightweight four won the B final at the U23 World Championships, good for seventh overall.

Though the US was the bestrepresented country by Harvard rowers at the U23 World Championships, a few Crimson athletes represented other nations. Senior Nicolai Astrup-Wiik

competed against Campbell in the lightweight single sculls, as Astrup-Wiik rowed for Norway for the third year in a row. Sophomore Juri-Miik Udam, meanwhile, competed in a single for Estonia.

Team Canada had two Crimson sophomores in its lightweight four, as Lucas Farewell and Samuel Frum both rowed against their teammate Bonorris in the race. Meanwhile, two senior heavyweight rowers, James Medway and Charlie Risby, competed together in the Australian men’s eight against a field that included sophomore James Johnston in the Great Britain eight.

—Staff writer Ty Aderhold can be reached at