An incredible athlete and friendly face around campus, Kelly Lahart ’20 is an exceptional leader of the girls’ varsity basketball team.
Since joining the team as a new sophomore, Lahart has consistently led by example on and off the court. In her three years on the team, Lahart has held the basketball program close to her heart. “Being a part of the girls’ varsity basketball program has been a special part of my Deerfield experience. I feel so fortunate to have had great coaches and played with such a talented and fun group of girls. Whether in bigger moments like beating NMH or smaller moments like our pre-game scream circles, I have loved being a part of this team,” she said.
So far this season, Lahart and co-captain Tess Mannix ’20 led the team with a 8-1 record. For the first time in 11 years, girls’ varsity basketball defeated Northfield Mount Hermon 56-42. Reflecting on this win, Lahart said, “Our season is off to a great start this year. Our team works very well together, and I think our play so far has been reflective of that. As coach Schloat said after our win against NMH, “Rveryone has played a valuable role in our team’s success.”
Honored as the first winter athlete of the week this December for her team, Kelly is consistently praised by teammates and coaches for her leadership, talent, and spirit. Mannix said, “[Kelly] is unwaveringly positive and respectful. She inspires and encourages a close-knit team community. Off the court she is inclusive; on the court she hustles with every ounce of her energy. She has greatly contributed to the success of the girls’ varsity basketball program.”
Head Coach Julianne Schloat said, “[Kelly] has gotten us off to a positive and hardworking start to the season with her leadership and enthusiasm. She has been both a vocal leader and a leader by example on the court. She comes ready to work hard every day, and she inspires the same in her teammates.”
Lahart has served as a role model to younger members of the basketball team since stepping on court her sophomore year. Teammate Claire Cummings ’21 said, “Kelly is a constantly positive force on and off the court. She genuinely cares about every member on our team. We all know that we can always rely on her.” Despite suffering hip and ankle injuries in her athletic career at Deerfield, Kelly has returned as a stronger athlete each time.
At the end of her 2019 season, Lahart was awarded the Keller-Birrell Award, given to “the player who manifests the spirit of Robin Keller and Katie Birrell, Class of 1992. As students, they both led by example and played with intensity, courage, and passion.”
Next year, Kelly will continue her basketball career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Similar to Deerfield, MIT feels like a very collaborative and exciting community, and I’m really looking forward to being a part of their women’s basketball program next year,” she said. While Deerfield will certainly miss Lahart’s leadership and constant smile around campus next year, she leaves behind a distinguished mark on the girls’ varsity basketball program, and has a bright athletic future.