Basketball - Boys' Varsity
2009-10 Western New England Semi-Finalist
2009 Sportsmanship Award
2007 Tri-State League Champions
The Taft basketball program enters the 2017-18 season looking to qualify for post-season play for the 12th time in the past 17 years. Taft competes in the Founders and Tri-State Leagues during the regular season and in Class A against the top large-school prep programs in New England during the post-season. The 2016-17 squad finished the season with a 17-7 record, and was able to beat and compete with the tops teams in class A. The Big Red ranked among the top five in New England for overall winning percentage and Class A winning percentage all while yielding the sixth most difficult RPI (strength of schedule) in New England. The Rhinos are optimistic and look to use positive momentum gained last year to propel them into the 2017-18 season. The team will be captained by two Waterbury, Connecticut, natives, Senior Shamir Johnson and Junior Connor Printz.
Over the past 10 years, the Taft team has compiled a 163-92 record and won four league championships. During this time Taft basketball players have gone on to compete in college athletic programs at the following institutions: American, Amherst, Babson, Bates, Bowdoin, College of Charleston, Connecticut College, Cornell, Davidson, Dickinson, Holy Cross, Howard, Kenyon, Middlebury, Princeton, Sacred Heart, Trinity, Tufts, Union.
About Head Coach Shavar Bernier
Shavar graduated from Dover High School in New Hampshire, where he was captain of the basketball team for two years and first-team All-State and Seacoast Player of the Year in 2004. He attended Bridgton Academy for a post-graduate year. There he earned the Frances L. Spooner Award, which is awarded by the faculty to the student deemed the most outstanding in general excellence of studies, loyalty, and uprightness of character. Shavar then attended Connecticut College, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in human development and played four years of varsity basketball. A three-year captain at Conn, he earned many accolades, including the Sportsmanship Award his sophomore season. When he graduated, Shavar was the first all-time in career three-pointers and the tenth all-time in career points. He was named to the All-NESCAC second team and was selected to the NEBCA Division III all-star game. Additionally, in college he worked in the alumni relations office, served as a teacher's aide in the college's children's program, coached at Conn College basketball camps, and assisted as a basketball coach at Waterford Middle School. After college, Shavar served as an assistant men's basketball coach and intramural assistant director at St. Michael's College in Vermont, where he was also responsible for directing the school's summer basketball camp. He began his independent-school career at The Gunnery, where he worked for two years as an assistant director of admissions, LEADS teacher, head varsity basketball coach, assistant football coach, and dormitory resident. At Taft, Shavar is an admission officer, serves as head of CPT4 (an upper school boys dorm), and is the head boys' basketball coach and assistant football coach. He is currently working on his master's degree at Dartmouth College in liberal studies with a concentration on cultural studies.
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