By Mike Beas
Whether or not Nick Chinn starts for the Tri-West basketball team usually depends on that night’s opponent and the potential player matchups it creates.
Regardless of when the 6-foot-3-inch senior forward takes the floor, Chinn’s team-first mindset is every bit as vital to the Bruins’ success as what he accomplishes statistically. Every successful sports team benefits from the so-called glue player, and Chinn fits the role perfectly.
“The thing that I like about Nick, first and foremost, is he’s just an exceptional teammate,” said Tri-West coach Adam Bontreger, who since taking the job in 2009 has led the program to five sectional championships and one regional title. “From a player’s perspective, he is a very skilled player. Nick sees the game well, and is one of our best shooters and passers.”
The Bruins won two of their first three games this season with Chinn averaging 2.5 points, five rebounds and two assists. He made one of his two 3-point attempts and pulled down six boards in the team’s 65-38 victory over Frankfort.
Bontreger appreciates how Chinn encourages and supports teammates whether it’s from the bench or on the court. It sets a standard not only for the current Tri-West squad, but the program as a whole all the way down to the elementary school teams.
“Our motto this year is, ‘One mindset.’ I would say Nick embodies that as well as anyone in our program,” said Bontreger. “It’s 100% genuine. He’s definitely a special kid who is going to be successful no matter what he does.”
Chinn carries a 3.7 grade point average and is in the National Honor Society at Tri-West. As a sophomore, he was in Youth Leadership Hendricks County.
Chinn did a Q&A with ICON:
Q: What do you like most about being part of the Tri-West basketball program?
A: I really like how our whole team feels connected and how we really have a good camaraderie. We have six seniors, so I’ve been playing basketball with the others for at least seven years, some of them longer.
Q: How does being a good student play into being a leader in basketball?
A: In the classroom, you always have to hold yourself accountable, and on the basketball court, you have to hold not only yourself accountable, but your teammates, too. We don’t take anything personally. We just do what’s in the best interest of the team.
Q: Do you know where you’ll attend college and what your major will be?
A: I don’t know where, but I’ve applied to six schools and I’m going to major in political science or pre-law. My parents always said my brother (Wabash College senior Matt Chinn) and I would be great lawyers.