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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Basketball standout leaves for 3-2 program

<ir="ltr">1,200 miles. That is the distance that separates Columbia University from Carleton College. This is also the distance that will separate Carleton student and basketball standout, Tianen Chen ’17,  from the Carleton student body and the Knight’s Men’s Basketball team at the end of the year. Rather than staying for his senior year, Chen will be leaving Carleton in order to join an elite program at Columbia University in New York City. This, according to Chen, “basically gives [him] an opportunity to obtain a physics bachelor’s from Carleton and an electrical engineering bachelor’s from Columbia in 5 years.”

Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Carleton College work together so that physics majors from Carleton can take advantage of Carleton’s Combined Plan in Engineering. This program is a 3-2 program, which allows its participants to get a bachelor’s degree in physics from Carleton in 3 years, and an electrical engineering program from Columbia in another 2 years. According to Guy Kalland, the head coach of Carleton’s Varsity Men’s Basketball team, Columbia University’s electrical engineering program is highly respected and has consistently been one of the top ranked programs in the nation. This program could not be receiving a better candidate according to Kalland. He said, “Tianen is a perfect candidate. He is a very bright and hardworking young man who has done extremely well with his course work in the physics department.” That hard work even included Chen finishing his comps this year, a year earlier than most. Kalland also cited Chen’s hard work and passion for engineering as a reason he would be a perfect candidate for the team.

This hard work and passion for success not only led to academic achievements for Chen, but also led to his solid play on the court in a Knight’s uniform. Chen, a forward, played in all 25 of Carleton’s games this year and led the team in points per game (15.5), ranking him 6th overall in the MIAC. Chen also brought down 4.7 rebounds per game, which was tied for second most on his team. He did this all while playing the 5th most minutes per game on his team, and starting only 2 games. His outstanding play ultimately led to Chen receiving both the 6th Man-of-the-Year Award and All-MIAC honorable mention. According to Kalland, Chen’s excellence and leadership on the court was equally matched by his team leadership off of it. Kalland said that Chen “has been a great teammate, and good representative of our basketball program on campus as well.”

Chen said that his decision to take this opportunity at Columbia “was a very difficult decision,” and he is going to miss the basketball program and his teammates the most. Chen opened up on his career at Carleton, saying, “Coach Guy and Coach Kershaw run one of the best D3 basketball programs in the country. I have learned a lot and am forever thankful to receive the opportunity to play here.” These feelings are matched by his teammates and coaches. Kalland exclaimed, “We are all glad Tianen chose Carleton … and I think Columbia University’s Engineering Program is fortunate to have ‘T’ headed their way!”

As to how the Knight’s will fare next year without one of their key players, Kalland said “the Knights have the good fortune of returning a veteran group, along with some younger talented and capable players who are ready to step up.” Thus, we should not expect a drop in performance next year. His teammates will need to regroup and find a way to make up for the loss of his production on the court.

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