Interview by BEN HALL
John Hatch is a fourth-year member of the Colorado College men’s basketball team from Lodi, Wisconsin. Hatch was named First Team All-Conference and was awarded SCAC Defensive Player of the Year for the 2016-17 season. Hatch led the conference in blocks, was second in points, and third in three-point field goals and percentage. Hatch also competes for CC’s Track and Field team, and took second and third place in the triple and long jumps, respectively, at the 2017 conference meet. The basketball team opens their 2017-18 campaign on the road against UCCS on Nov. 4.
Ben Hall: You’re coming off a very successful season last year individually. What are your goals for this year on an individual level, and for the team as a whole?
John Hatch: My goal individually is to be healthy. I just want to play, that’s it. [Hatch is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered triple-jumping at last year’s conference track meet.] Team-wise, we all know what the team goal is. We want to put ourselves in the position to be in the last game of the season.
BH: You’re a two-sport athlete at CC; once basketball ends you’re a big point scorer for the track and field team. What aspects of each sport do you enjoy, and what similarities do you see between them?
JH: I like basketball because you have to use your mind and body, and track because it’s all about technique and form… [track is] measured in a more specific way than basketball, so I like the competing against yourself aspect. Similarities are in the preparation. You can attack basketball workouts just like you can attack track workouts.
BH: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
JH: I wanted to be in the NBA, of course, but once I realized that probably wasn’t realistic, I decided I wanted to work with technology, probably politically. I’d like to make legislation on how we deal with drones, AI, or driverless cars.
BH: What’s your major?
JH: Political science.
BH: Do you see similarities in how you approach political science, or are things you enjoy about political science parallel to things you enjoy about basketball?
JH: Yeah, there are politics in basketball. Because it’s a team sport, you have to manage people and get them to work together.
BH: Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of basketball?
JH: I really like reading; I’m reading a really good book right now called “The Way of Kings” by Brandon Sanderson…I’m super into video games—“Assassin’s Creed Origins,” “Battlefield,” “Star Wars.” I’ll kick your butt in “Battlefield,” and my “2K” team would kill yours.
BH: What were you for Halloween this year?
JH: Myself and Wesley Miller were the “Pulp Fiction” guys. I was Samuel L. Jackson and he was John Travolta. We were looking fly.
BH: What’s the best Halloween costume you’ve ever had?
JH: I dressed up as Spaceman Spiff from “Calvin and Hobbes” when I was five or six. That was pretty cool.
BH: What’s your stance on trash talk, and how important do you think it is?
JH: Trash talk is easier in basketball because you’re face to face with people. I also think it’s important because it’s a mental part of the game, so if there’s any way you can gain a mental advantage over your opponent, you should do that. However, there are certain limits—basketball is a game, and you’re on the court with people who also want to play the game, so you have to respect certain boundaries. Sexist, racist, homophobic [stuff], that’s not cool. But there’s a lot of stuff that can go. There’s ways to be creative and not be inflammatory or discriminatory against other people.
BH: Do you have any examples of things you like to say to try to get into people’s heads?
JH: Well I can’t really reveal my methods because that’s an advantage that would be given away, [laughs], but there is a certain source of intimidation from telling someone what you’re going to do, and then doing it.
Everyone is hoping Hatch’s knee injury heals soon as he’s an integral player on the court. For now, the team will have to battle UCCS without him this weekend.