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SPORTS

Catching Up With Columbia Duo Kenny Noland ’22 & Arop Arop ’23

Catching Up With Columbia Duo Kenny Noland ’22 & Arop Arop ’23

Catching Up With Columbia Duo Kenny Noland ’22 & Arop Arop ’23

Arop drives to the rim for an and-1 fifinish during a 70-50 win against Suffield.

ZACH LEWIS '24

Staff Writer

February 1, 2024

Teo Everts '26

Kenny Noland ’22 and Arop Arop ’23 play for the Columbia University mens’ basketball team. Noland and Arop both played a postgraduate year at Hotchkiss, before graduating to the DI level at Columbia. 


Noland was born in New Mexico, and grew up with four siblings in Apex, North Carolina. He began playing basketball at a young age and played at Apex Friendship High School before coming to Hotchkiss. He was co-captain of Boys Varsity Basketball during the 2021-2022 season. 


He led the Bearcats to a 23-1 season. They went undefeated in Class A during the regular season, won the Founders League, and won the playoffs to take home the Class A championship over Belmont Hill. During that season he averaged 18.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 3.0 steals per game. He also recorded two triple-doubles that year, earning himself NEPSAC Class A player of the year honors. 


Noland said, “One thing that I have brought from Hotchkiss to Columbia is being able to effectively manage my time between basketball and school. Managing your time effectively is something that Hotchkiss really teaches you.” In his free time, Noland enjoys snowboarding, listening to country music, playing ping pong, and golfing. 


Currently a sophomore at Columbia, Noland plays as a guard. He has averaged 7 points, 2 rebounds, and an assist on 20 minutes of playing time per game. Noland said, “There’s a lot that I love about Columbia, but the location and the people are dfsthe biggest positive for me. I love being in the city, and I love the people I am surrounded by.” 


Noland met his future teammate, Arop Arop, on a preseason trip to Germany. Arop, born in Dallas to South Sudanese parents, began playing basketball at the age of two. He graduated from Chisholm Trails High School in Fort Worth before taking a PG year. He stands at 6 feet, 11 inches, but Arop has played a large part of his career as a guard, moving to forward once he joined Columbia. 


At Hotchkiss, Arop was a regular starter, averaging 10 points and 6 rebounds per game. 


Arop said, “My favorite memory was playing against Deerfield. It was a big away game, and the gym was pretty packed. It was also a close game that we came out and won. It felt really good to be part of the team at that moment.” 


Arop also competed in track and field, becoming New England high jump champion in 2022. Arop said, “At Hotchkiss, I learned that I could live independently without the help of my parents all the time. The school taught me to have responsibility.” 


Despite having only been at the school for a year, Arop left a tangible impact on the community. Former teammate Preston Merrick ’26 said, “Arop was like a brother who guided me through the rough games and encouraged me through the great ones. He’s taught me many things on and off the court and will do great things at Columbia.” 


In his free time, Arop enjoys music, fashion, watching movies, hanging out with friends, golfing, going to lakes, and riding jet skis. Arop and Noland have contributed 13 and 17 points respectively to a 9-7 season for Columbia so far. 


Arop said, “It’s always a fun time playing with Kenny, because he’s a microwave—he gets hot really fast. He shoots a lot, but he always makes winning plays. We have a great relationship on and off the court, and I look forward to playing with him at Columbia.”

COMMUNICATIONS

During the 2021-2022 season, Noland led the team to a NEPSAC Class A championship.

Teo Everts is a staff writer for The Record.

February 1st

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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