March 19, 2024

Hampden-Sydney College Basketball closed its historic season on Saturday, March 16, as the National Runner-up.

Tiger basketball players standing amidst confetti and decorationsThe Hampden-Sydney College Basketball team returned home to Kirby Field House on Sunday, March 17, greeted by a warm welcome that reflected the immense pride and gratitude felt by players and fans alike. Although their journey to the NCAA Championship in Fort Wayne, Indiana, ended in a tough 69-61 loss to Trine University (IN), the Tigers accomplished a great deal in this historic season.

“We are very thankful for everything,” said Head Basketball Coach Caleb Kimbrough. “As a coach, I couldn’t be more proud. Our players gave it their all and are the absolute best.”

Their championship journey reached extreme excitement in the Final Four clash against Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) rival Guilford College, one of only two teams to best the Tigers in the regular season. Only the second time in history both teams advanced to the Final Four, the highly anticipated rematch had added intensity due to the student-mentor connection between Guilford alumnus Kimbrough and Guilford Head Coach Tom Palombo. In a display of fiery determination, the nationally ranked number one Tigers secured a hard-fought 62-57 victory, propelling them into the title game.

Tiger basketball players holding the ODAC trophyDespite falling short in what felt like an away match for the Tigers with Trine University located just 40 minutes north of Fort Wayne, the Tiger’s season stood as a testament to their unwavering determination and exceptional skill. With a historic 31-3 record, they not only secured a new school record for victories but also claimed titles such as the Wooster Rotary Classic Championship, Regional Champions, and a record 11th ODAC Championship. Demonstrating exceptional resilience, the Tigers concluded their most impressive season in 25 years, reminiscent of the 1998-1999 Tigers who also made it to the National Championship.

“We were fortunate to have numerous alumni and students make the trip to Fort Wayne to rally behind us,” Kimbrough said. “I believe it exemplifies the culture we're building within the basketball program, a culture we must strive to further develop. We take immense pride in our brotherhood, in the unity we share, and in extending that bond to our supporters.”

We are very thankful for everything. As a coach, I couldn’t be more proud. Our players gave it their all and are the absolute best. We take immense pride in our brotherhood, in the unity we share, and in extending that bond to our supporters.

Caleb Kimbrough, Head Basketball Coach

Tiger basketball players and coaches posing for a photoAll-American captain Adam Brazil ’25 echoed Kimbrough’s sentiments, saying, “The culture moving forward will remain consistent because our standards and values remain unchanged. We will all continue to pursue the standard of excellence, striving to be the best versions of ourselves every single day.”

Fifth-year standout guard Ryan Clements ’24 emphasized the importance of valuing the journey and being grateful for the experiences shared with teammates.

“You have to appreciate the journey,” Ryan said. “It took a lot to get here, so I’m thankful for all of this and to be with my teammates.”

Looking forward to next season, the Tigers are bringing back 13 players, including one starter, Adam Brazil. Among the Tigers are two All-Americans: standout forward Davidson Hubbard ’24, who was named to the NABC Division III All-America Second Team and the All-America Third Team, and Adam Brazil, who was named to the NABC All-America Third Team and the All-Tournament Team at the Basketball Championship Final Four.

With their heads held high and hearts full of determination, the Tigers remain steadfast in their commitment to excellence. Looking ahead, they are poised to continue their legacy of success, fueled by the enduring bonds of brotherhood and a shared aspiration for greatness. One thing is certain: the Tigers will dance again.

More News Stories