Les Hoop

Tommy Hennessy talks basketball, what it’s like being a student athlete


Photo Submitted By Tommy Hennessy

Tommy Hennessy (12) plays in a basketball game at Oakville High School. “This game is so fun, it feels like an art when you’re playing, you feel like you’re moving fluently,” Hennessy said. Hennessy started playing sports before elementary school.

There are many activities and sports that students participate in at OHS. One student, Tommy Hennessy (12), started playing sports at a young age and currently plays for the school’s basketball team where he is currently preparing for and after the season. 

“Growing up, my parents were trying to put me in a bunch of different sports,” Hennessy said. “I played basketball, baseball and football for years, and then after elementary school I decided to play basketball for the summer because it was fun and fast-paced.”

In a game like basketball, a lot of scenarios and situations can occur during the game. 

“I love the team aspect, I love how there’s always potential for a big play all the time,” Hennessy said. “There’s so many possessions in a game, and whether it’s a great pass, or a great rebound, or a step back three, or an ankle breaker or a block outta bounce, there’s always a potential energetic play.”

A lot of athletes have had family members who’ve had or have an athletic background in sports in the past or present. 

“Yes, my dad was a big football player. He played football forever until a big injury happened in his high school season,” Hennessy said. “My mom was a volleyball player, and my aunt is probably my biggest supporter. She played all sports: she played basketball, softball and volleyball. She’s always been the loudest person at every single sports game of mine, so she’s been very big in my athletic career. Then my uncle, he played baseball. So we have sports going around, basketball sort of became a ‘lucky thing.’ I wasn’t really raised in a basketball household, but I’m definitely lucky I was able to find it.”

While playing basketball at Oakville, Hennessy has experienced many different types of atmospheres and situations at each school he’s played at. 

“[My favorite school to play at,] I gotta go Hancock,” Hennessy said, “because we won the South Side Classic there and I have never lost there.”

After high school, student athletes can discover challenges when it comes to finding the right college that offers them the right sports program and education.

“It’s how to get into colleges and to continue my basketball career,” Hennessy said. “Trying to find colleges that work with me both with what I need as a person and what I need with my academics. Also a school that I can also allow me to continue to play basketball, the game I love.”

Basketball, and mostly other sports, bring out energy and positivity that can create a great experience for the players and fans. 

“It just gives me a lot of motivation, it helps me stay focused, [helps me] just better myself and [helps make] sure I stay on a positive track,” Hennessy said. “I’m keeping my body healthy and being able to hopefully bring other people joy, whether that’s on my team or the fans, and I feel like it’s made me happier because I’m doing something that I love.”

A lot of people are constantly getting into sports and are able to have great experiences, and for other athletes Hennessy has some words of wisdom.

“This game is so fun, it feels like an art when you’re playing, you feel like you’re moving fluently,” Hennessy said. “Whenever you make a good play as a team or as an individual, there’s just so much energy that comes with it. You feel it everywhere, and it’s just such a good feeling. So totally play, at least try to play, even if it’s like in gym class. Get in it and get buckets.”