From Defeat to Victory: How Two EDS Alumni Continue to Rise Above the Pandemic

by Adeleine Halsey `21

For college freshmen Brock Wilsey 2020 and Aidan Kunst 2020, winning the EDS basketball Sectionals seemed to be a victory they would never experience after a heartbreaking defeat last year. In March 2020, Evansville Day School lost in the third and final round of Sectionals after months of hard work. It was a devastating reality to face for the entire team, but it was an especially tough loss for Aidan and Brock as seniors. “Our team was an especially tight-knit group and we wanted it really bad, so to lose and to lose in the last minute like we did was a tough pill to swallow,” said Aidan. To top it all off, this was essentially how they would end their senior year and their last games in their basketball careers as the pandemic shut the world down only a few weeks later. 

Brock Wilsey and Aidan Kunst accept the consolation basketball at the 2020 Sectional Championship

Brock Wilsey and Aidan Kunst accept the consolation basketball following the 2020 Sectional Championship game. 

 

Though they didn’t know it then, Aidan and Brock would still be able to have a taste of Sectional victory they missed out on, even following graduation. Despite Aidan moving to Indiana University in Bloomington and Brock heading out to Purdue University in West Lafayette, online college courses and extended winter breaks due to Covid-19 provided the duo a unique opportunity to come together again on the basketball court - this time on the sidelines.

During the 2020-21 season, the two served as assistant coaches to the EDS team while taking college courses remotely. Together with Coach Gary Wilsey, they ran practices, broke down opponents’ film, and made adjustments in the games. Their experience and skills from years of playing basketball make Brock and Aidan a valuable asset to both Varsity and JV. 

Thanks to the pandemic leading to an unconventional freshman year of college, Aidan and Brock were able to experience a Sectional victory after all, albeit in an unexpected way. On Saturday, March 6th, the Eagles defeated Wood Memorial for the Sectional Title. As assistant coaches, Aidan and Brock were able to be an active part of the entire game and experience the exhilaration of the victory. 

Aidan feels a lot of pride for the team of his alma mater, saying, “Getting to be a part of the team as a coach is really cool, but more than anything I’m happy for all my guys from last year’s team that have put so much work to get better and bring the sectional home. For them to come back after last year, one year after we lost, it’s great to see and a testament to their resilience.” At the moment, they are continuing to look ahead by analyzing a good amount of film of their opponents in preparation for Regionals, as well as organizing their scouting reports. 

With everything the class of 2020 endured during their final year of high school, it seems that the 2021 Sectionals ultimately were a light at the end of the tunnel for these former teammates as the world begins to emerge and heal from the tumultuous last year.

 

Brock Wilsey and Aidan Kunst hold the 2021 Sectional Championship Trophy