A basketball legacy to remember: Bash, Adam and Kyonze’

The stands have been filled and fans have cheered tirelessly for Norfolk Collegiate’s varsity basketball team throughout the winter season. The high energy and tremendous teamwork and sportsmanship of our players have led the Oaks to win the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools (TCIS) championship.

This triumphant win marks Collegiate’s first conference title in 10 years.

Norfolk Collegiate’s dynamic trio of Bash Townes ’16, Kyonze’ (K.) Chavis ’16 and Adam Grant ’16 sat down with the Oak Connection to talk about the season and the final game which led our championship win.

“This was our third time, over the past four years, going to the championship game. We lost twice,” said Bash, who recently became Collegiate's first boys' varsity basketball player to score more than 2,000 points. “It’s our senior year, and we’re going out with a bang, so it’s definitely a great feeling. Everyone is congratulating us, and it feels good. I like it a lot.”

The boys’ varsity team beat Walsingham 51-37 for the title on Feb. 27 at Norfolk Christian. Each athlete played the final game strategically, controlling the entire game from start to finish, forcing Walsingham to come out of its comfort zone.

“We saw that they were playing triangle-and-two defense, which means they had one guy defending from the free throw line, two guys on the block and the other two were right in K. and Adam’s faces, so they couldn’t touch the ball,” said Bash, who was also named TCIS Tournament most valuable player. “When I saw this, I told coach [Jim Markey] to hold the ball to make them come guard us, come out of triangle-and-two and go man (each player guards a man) but they never did. I wish it was a better game to watch and more exciting for the fans, but we had to do what we had to do to win the TCIS championship.”

The tremendous trio has had many highlights throughout the season but one of the greatest for them was having the opportunity to play together during their senior year.

“We’ve scored over 5,000 points collectively over the past four years,” Adam said. “All of the accolades we’ve gotten this year, all of the respect, and the fact that we’ve built a bond both on and off the court has been the greatest highlight.”

Bash, Adam and K. have started each game they’ve played together since their freshmen year.

The atmosphere provided by Collegiate fans and supporters during the final game truly encouraged the team.

“It made us feel good and happy to see all of the students’ there to support us, the teachers and especially the parents,” said K. “It felt good, and it made us want to bring the win home.”

Adam, Bash and K. agree that they want to leave a remarkable legacy at Collegiate and hope their journey will inspire younger athletes.

“Setting the record which we’ve set for any three players to hold over 5,000 points is remarkable,” said K.

“We’ve set the bar for upcoming athletes pretty high,” Adam said. “They will have to play pretty hard to get to this level, but it should inspire them to want to be better than us.”

“I think they [Norfolk Collegiate] should retire our jerseys or our numbers,” Bash said in agreement with K. and Adam. “And hang them in the gym.”

The three of them were excited for their first VISAA Division II state championship but fell short by one point (51-52) to Virginia Episcopal School on March 2.

The season is over but the Collegiate community is extremely proud of the team.

“As educators we always believe we do all of the teaching,” said Coach Jim Markey. “But it’s the rare group [of students] that educates the educator, and that’s what these three guys have meant to me.”

The big three now pass the torch to younger athletes who have been influenced by their journey.

“It has been the best three years of basketball with them,” said Kile McNair ’17. “I really look up to all three of them; they are great example,” he continued. “Not only are they the best on the court, they are also [the best] off the court. They’re fun to be around and very uplifting. I’m going to have to step up next year and do my best to repeat the achievements we’ve gotten this year.”

A few accolades the boys can add to their accomplishments this year include being named to the TCIS Boys’ Basketball All-Tournament Team, and each receiving the MVP award during Collegiate’s middle and upper school Winter Athletic Awards Ceremony on March 1.

“The three are inseparable, but very different personalities. On the court you see their personalities: Bash is the steel, K. is the emotion and Adam the panache,” said Jon Hall, athletic director. “I have enjoyed watching these young men succeed this year.”

Adam, Bash and K. haven’t announced the colleges they will play for next year but Collegiate looks forward to the news come April.

Click here to view a collections of photos from the TCIS championship game.

Read more about the team in The Virginian-Pilot's features here and here.