Chasin to enroll at NHM in pursuit of basketball


Josh Underberg, Staff writer

“It was hard to imagine myself not being a Horace Mann student anymore,” Ben Chasin (11) said. In early April, after fourteen years at the school, Chasin made the difficult decision to leave in order to pursue his dream of playing college basketball.
At the start of the 2020-2021 school year, Chasin will enroll at Northfield Mount Hermon School (NMH) in Gill, Massachusetts where he will play under Head Coach John Carroll. He publicly announced his decision in an Instagram post on May 19th.
NMH is known as a top-ranked basketball program in the country and finished as the fifth best prep school in the nation last year, Chasin said. The school is part of the New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC) AAA, which is considered the top prep conference in the nation. According to the NMH website, NMH prides itself on being “the best combination of academics and basketball in the United States.”
Chasin plans on reclassing and repeating his junior year. “Having the extra year to do a lot of strength training, being on a really good workout program all the time, and getting the experience of playing against national competition will make me a much better player and help to prepare me for college,” he said.
Chasin was first introduced to NMH during his freshman year by his AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) coach who is close with NMH Head Coach John Carroll. “[My AAU coach] recommended that I go to this open run, and he told me that Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey was going to be there,” Chasin said. “That whole experience introduced me to what the highest level of competition really is.”
NMH once again appeared on Chasin’s radar when he attended a basketball camp at Yale his sophomore year. He was struck by the attention that NMH players in particular received from the Yale coaches, he said.
“At this camp, they assigned all of the players to random teams, but the NMH players had their own team,” Chasin said. “The coaches would walk around from court to court throughout the day, but when NMH played, every single coach walked over to their court. Yale’s whole coaching staff sat down and watched their entire game. When I saw that, I thought to myself, I need to be on that court.”
Ultimately, Chasin’s goal is to play Division 1 (D1) basketball at a high academic institution on the collegiate level. Throughout the past twelve years, NMH has sent 37 players to the Ivy League, more than triple the amount of any other program in the world. Chasin is hopeful that attending NMH will provide him with that same opportunity.
A typical schedule in the fall and spring at NMH consists of 6 AM workouts three to four times a week, followed by lifting at noon, with scrimmage games four nights a week. These scrimmages are attended by each of the Ivy League basketball coaches around seven times a year, Chasin said.
The NMH experience is distinguished by how connected the school remains to their alumni. “Once a week during quarantine, Coach Carroll has what he calls an ‘NMH lunch table.’ One former NMH alumn, usually one who is currently in college or just finished college, comes and talks to the team during lunch, and then the team gets to ask questions,” Chasin said.
The NMH program also takes the physical and nutritional health of their athletes very seriously, a feature that caught Chasin’s attention. The strength and conditioning coach constantly monitors the players’ strength, vertical, and weight, Chasin said. “He has them send him photos of what they are eating at each meal, and right on the spot, he tells them whether it looks good, whether they should go and get some more food, or whether they should be eating something different.” Chasin said the physical development in the before and after pictures of NMH players Coach Carroll shared with him was “unreal.”
Carroll has been recruiting Chasin for roughly a year. “Over the past several summers, Ben played in different showcases, and it was there that he made a relationship with the coach,” Chasin’s father, Matthew Chasin P ’21 ‘23 ‘26, said. “The coach then approached us to recruit him after one of these events,” he said.
Chasin has been recruited to NMH to be “the shooter” on the team, he said. “My job is to take any three-point shot I have.” As he looks to prepare himself for his new role at NMH, Chasin has been working on shooting at faster speeds and practicing shooting from further behind the three-point line to make himself more effective from deep, he said.
Former Boys Varsity Basketball Head Coach Tim Sullivan, who coached Chasin for his freshman and sophomore seasons, said that the most considerable improvement he saw in Chasin as his coach was his work ethic. “About halfway through his freshman year, Ben decided that he wanted to be really really good,” Sullivan said. “Ben worked pretty hard in the beginning, and then something switched where he outworked pretty much everyone. He was in the gym before school, he would stay after practice to shoot, and he was in the weight room; Ben was doing everything a coach could ask.”
Sullivan says that Ben’s unselfishness and care for his teammates will help him to succeed in the future. “If the team needs him to score, he tries to score, if the team needs him to pass, he will pass, and if the team needs him to guard the other team’s best player, he will do that, he said.
Eddie Mantz (11), who has been teammates with Chasin on the school’s basketball team for five years, said that “he’s going to play his absolute hardest until the final whistle, he will dive for loose balls, and he will always pick his teammates up.”
“He doesn’t take any days off,” Chasin’s long-time friend Harrison Winter (11) said. “I’ve been to his house several times, and every time I’ve been there, I’ve been a part of his work out sessions. We will do hill runs, and he will make me time his runs. He sets a certain goal for himself, but even when he hits that goal, he’s still not satisfied,” he said.
Chasin’s father points to one story in particular as representing Chasin’s determination to succeed.
When Chasin finished his sophomore season, he thought his shooting was inconsistent, Matthew said. Chasin decided that he needed to change his shot form, even if it meant not performing as well in his upcoming AAU season. He knew that to move forward, he had to be willing to take a step back.
There were people telling Chasin that he should wait until later on to change his shot, but he remained committed, Matthew said. “It took discipline by Ben, along with the ability to not care what other people thought,” he said.
“It ultimately ended up being the right decision,” Matthew said. Chasin averaged a career-high 17 points per game in his junior year, to go along with 10 rebounds per game.
Chasin’s final season at HM also featured multiple awards, including the Most Valuable Player of the Peg Duggan Tournament, the Richard Friedman ‘75 Award, and a Second Team All-League selection.
Leadership has always been a main priority for Chasin. “At Horace Mann, I feel like I’ve learned how to be a leader,” Chasin said. “We’ve had bad losses and really good wins, but one thing that I have been able to practice and get better at is keeping my head up and leading my team through whatever challenges there are.”
Chasin plans on taking what he has learned with him to NMH and hopes to continue to grow as a leader.
“They call NMH a leadership academy disguised as a basketball program,” he said. “Everyone is a leader on the team, and everyone is looking out for each other.”
Chasin experienced this first hand while practicing with the NMH team at an open run. “Every single time you pass someone, you give them a high-five. When you go to get water, in the line, you are constantly high-fiving each other.”
From his visits to the school, Chasin describes the environment as a “brotherhood,” from practicing together to sharing every meal in the company of one another.
“What really excited me was getting so many nice text messages from my future teammates after I made the Instagram post. The family aspect of NMH is something I’m really looking forward to being part of.”
“This has been a dream of his that we have always talked about, so I’m happy for him,” Winter said.
The Lions will miss having Chasin on the court with them, Christopher Robinson (11) said. “He is a brother and a motivator.”