Kingsmen Basketball Senior Night Honors Palmer Chaplin


Gabby Flores

Lone senior Palmer Chaplin plays in his final game as one of the Kingsmen during senior night on Tuesday, Feb. 25 against Whittier.

Ariana Salinas, Reporter

On Tuesday, Feb. 25 the California Lutheran University Kingsmen basketball team held their annual senior night where they honored senior guard Palmer Chaplin, who played in his final game for the team.
“It was bittersweet. It’s tough to walk away from Cal Lutheran because this place has given me so much more than like basketball. It’s given me my best friends and all of the lessons I’ve learned about who I want to be as a person,” Chaplin said.
The Kingsmen lost by 17 points against the Whittier Poets with a final score 82-65.
Chaplin ended the 2019-2020 season averaging 9.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, as well as appearing and starting in all 25 games. Chaplin was also inducted into the Cal Lutheran Scholar-Athlete Society as a first-year, sophomore and junior. He finished his final game with the Kingsmen with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal.
“I don’t think there’s anything else that I could’ve asked for. Just being out there with my best friends, like I said, is all I could ask for,” Chaplin said.
Chaplin said although he wishes they were able to advance to the playoffs, “it was as good of a night as it gets” considering the circumstances, and he learned many lessons that he plans on taking away from his time with the team on and off the court.
“It’s just about getting better every day, and that doesn’t necessarily mean just on the court. That means in school, in your job and in your relationships. What you got to do to get better, and never settling really,” Chaplin said.
With his fourth and final season with the Kingsmen basketball team coming up next school year, junior guard Cole Thomas reflected on Chaplin’s ability to lead the team this season and what he wants to take away from him.
“I can’t say enough of what a great leader he was through all the ups and downs. You know, I could only hope to do the same for the team next year with myself, Jared and whoever else we get next year that will be a senior,” Thomas said.
Head Coach Russell White also praised Chaplin for his continuous work ethic and leadership skills.
“An unbelievable leader. A role model. A worker. When we turn this program around in the next couple years, we’re gonna look at him and the work ethic that he had,” White said.
Tuesday’s game also marked the final home and season game for the Kingsmen at Gilbert Arena.
The team shot 25.6% from three-point range and 31.1% from the field compared to their opponent, who shot 43.6% from three-point range and 44.3% from the field.
Despite being down 9 points mid-way through the second quarter, the Kingsmen put on a show for the crowd when Thomas threw down a dunk after getting an offensive rebound.
“Truth be told I wanted the second [dunk] but I just timed it correctly. I knew Palmer had somebody that was really athletic contesting the shot, so my thoughts were just to go up there and try to get the rebound, but I got up high enough and then slammed it down,” Thomas said.
Thomas scored 14 points shooting 50.0% from the field and collected 13 rebounds, ending the night with a double-double on well-rounded effort.
“My goal was to go out there and compete as hard as I could and try to do my best for the team and those results showed. Even though we didn’t get the results we wanted, I’m still proud of all of our efforts, including mine,” Thomas said.
Although the team didn’t make the playoffs, White said he looked at his first season with the Kingsmen as a “great learning experience” for himself and is “looking forward to getting better” as a team in the future.
The Kingsmen ended their season with a 2-14 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference record, finishing as the ninth seed.