1-On-1 With The Radnor High School Basketball Team

Radnor High School

The Radnor High School Basketball Team’s Co-Captains Talk About Their Hoop Dreams

Jackson Hicke, Danny Rosenblum, Charlie Thornton, Cooper Mueller and coach Jamie Chadwin on teamwork, trust, consistency and mindset.

by Ana Welsh, business editor

For the Radnor High School basketball team, this season was the stuff that dreams are made of. In March 2023, they made it to the playoffs of the PA state championships, entering as an undefeated team. They won – by a lot. “Our average margin of victory was 22 points,” says head coach Jamie Chadwin.

That’s when four kids – Jackson Hicke, Danny Rosenblum, Charlie Thornton and Cooper Mueller – started a group chat and gave it an auspicious name: State Champs. “We wanted to manifest it and speak it into existence,” says Hicke. “It’s our daily reminder to reach that full potential.”

Radnor High School
Photo courtesy of Jamie Chadwin.

Around the same time, three players were getting offers to attend several private high schools that were known for their basketball successes. They decided to stay together at Radnor, playing and thriving as teammates and friends. Now seniors, Rosenblum, Hicke, Mueller and Thornton are starters, along with Henry Pierce, a junior. “Even though I’ve known them for the last few years, it feels like I’ve known them my entire life,” shares Pierce.

“We’re a close knit group, we communicate daily, and we love hanging out together,” shares Hicke with a level of pride in his voice. “We trust each other and we really like one another on and off the court.”

Radnor High School
Photo courtesy of Jamie Chadwin.

In fact, trust and selflessness were themes that came up in every conversation with every player – and some of their moms. “They are always giving each other credit for how successful the team is,” says Terri Hicke, Jackson’s mom. “It’s not about themselves, it’s about the team. A lot of that comes from their coach.”

“I’m the luckiest coach out there,” states Chadwin . “This team has aligned goals, aligned work ethic, trust and special charisma. They want to be great and want to see each other be great.”

Danny Rosenblum echoes the same sentiment. “Coach Chadwin trusts our basketball IQ and our insights. He emphasizes that we have to take it one game at a time and get 1% better with every practice.”

All of the players emphasized the positive support they receive both on and off the field. “Our coaches do a great job listening to us and they ask us every day what support we need,” says Charlie Thornton. “If a teammate has a big test and needs to step out to study, he does so. We do a good job being student athletes and put a big emphasis on staying on top of our grades.”

Radnor High School’s basketball team at the Liacouras Center.

“We have a great schedule with our practice and our coaches never put too much pressure on us,” says Pierce. “My grades have been better than last year because I feel so motivated to do better.”

While pressure can be common among student athletes, all five starters only feel positivity from the community. “The biggest pressure we feel is from ourselves,” says Cooper Mueller. “Not many people are coming up to us saying we better win. It’s all been positive support and it’s our nature to want to go out and win.”

Managing homework, social life and an exciting basketball season isn’t easy. But the players echoed another common theme: support from their parents and teachers. “From a mental health standpoint, we are a supportive friend group that always feels welcomed,” Thornton says. “The teachers at Radnor are great and very supportive. My parents make mental health a big priority in our conversations.”

Speaking of conversations, this team has become the talk of the town and became Radnor Twp.’s hottest celebrities. “I took my first selfie at Wawa,” Thornton says bashfully, relaying the story of a local dad asking  to take a picture so he could show his son.

“We were recently vacationing in the Poconos and these huge fans came up to us and knew my name before I knew theirs,” says Rosenblum.

Radnor High School
Photo courtesy of Jamie Chadwin.

All five players noted how many young kids showed their admiration at games and within the community. “It’s pretty cool to see so many little kids looking up to us,” shares Hicke. “It’s special to see the community coming together to celebrate the team.”

When asked what words of encouragement they have for younger people who aspire to be great athletes, each player conveyed the same message. Work hard, have fun, do the right thing, don’t force it, and focus on the principle of teamwork. “One of the most overlooked things is you have to be a good person to be a great athlete,” Mueller says.

It’s about mindset, Chadwin emphasizes. “The common thread with this group is that there’s such an element of shared pride, compassion and care for one another,” Chadwin says. “Our expectations are simple yet high in standard. We expected everyone to be a good person.”

Perhaps Rosenblum summarized it best. “Focus on improving your skills personally and make sure you’re playing with other people and building that chemistry. The most important thing is being a great teammate.”

Photo courtesy of Radnor High School.

It’s that special blend of humility, determination, selflessness and appreciation that drives this team. “In a world where masculinity is stereotyped in a certain way, this group transcends on all levels,” Chadwin emphasizes. Speaking of all 15 team members, regardless of their play time, Chadwin says that “their collective accomplishments are why we’ve been able to sustain success.”

Their success, and the way they’ve handled it, led to sold out games. The township rooted for them in game after game, emphasizing that the team members were champions regardless of the tournament’s outcome. “We love the support from the community,” Mueller says graciously. “It’s been a dream come true.”

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