The No. 14 Hopkins men’s basketball team has been on a roll this season. With a current record of 17-2 overall and an 11-1 record in Centennial Conference play, the basketball team is off to the best start the program has had since their 2014-2015 campaign.
The Jays have only dropped games to the No. 1 Swarthmore College Garnet and the Stevens Institute of Technology Ducks so far, and they just capped off the weekend with another pair of wins against the McDaniel College Green Terror and the Muhlenberg College Mules.
The Saturday competition against the Mules was also the 19th annual Wall-O’Mahoney Game, a memorial game in honor of Hopkins Basketball alums Matt O’Mahony and Glenn Wall. Wall and O’Mahony were teammates at Hopkins and remained best friends until tragically losing their lives on 9/11.
In a game that featured impressive performances from several Jays, including four finishing with double-digit points, junior guard Joey Kern stood out from the rest. Kern was selected as the most valuable player (MVP) for Hopkins and received the Wall-O’Mahony MVP award after putting up an impressive 18 points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal.
For his performance, Kern was chosen by The News-Letter staff to be named Athlete of the Week. Kern sat down with The News-Letter to discuss the magnitude of the Wall-O’Mahony Game and his hopes for his squad as they enter the tail-end of their regular season schedule.
The News-Letter: Saturday’s game was the 19th annual Wall-O’Mahoney Game, an especially significant game for the program. How does it feel to have the opportunity to play in such a game each year and to be this year’s Hopkins honoree?
Joey Kern: The Wall-O’Mahoney Game is an awesome experience every year. It’s incredible to be able to play in front of our alumni who have worked so hard to lay the foundation for what our program is today.
N-L: Over the course of your career, you’ve reached 11th in JHU history in three-point percentage (0.396), 12th in three-pointers (110) and tied for 14th in three-point attempts (278), and you’re still only in your junior year. How does that make you feel, and what other goals would you like to achieve personally or as a team?
JK: It’s an honor to be in the record book, but above that, I want to keep winning. I think it would be really cool to have the most wins in a season in the Hopkins Basketball records.
N-L: What have you or the team worked on specifically this season and in the preseason to help you achieve these goals?
JK: Physically a lot of our guys have put in a lot of time and effort into gaining strength/weight in the offseason and it’s really helping us on the court. During the season we’ve focused on scoring as a team and not as individuals, and it’s really boosting our offensive production.
N-L: In terms of personal development, what has the program done for you or how has it helped you grow throughout your time here?
JK: The program has helped me tremendously throughout my time here. From the weight room to the court to the classroom, I’ve felt like my coaches and trainers have had my back the whole way. I couldn’t ask for a better support system, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish.
N-L: What has been your favorite moment of the season so far and why?
JK: My favorite moment of the year so far is when Ethan Bartlett hit a game-winning three-pointer against Haverford. It was a sweet moment that capped off a big comeback. It really goes to show the heart of our team, and it’s an exciting group to be around.