Trinity-Pawling Sam Fechner

From hustling on the basketball court to playing an original composition on the piano, Sam Fechner ’20 is a young man of many talents. He is a junior from Hamburg, Germany and in his first year at Trinity-Pawling — a community he cherishes. “Everyone cares about me here. My teachers and friends give me support when I need it and it’s clear that they want me to succeed,” Fechner shared. “It’s a great community to be a part of.”

Fechner discovered Trinity-Pawling through a connection between his basketball coach in Germany, Levi Levine, and Bill Casson, head coach for Trinity-Pawling’s varsity basketball team. “Coach Levine knew that my dream was to play college basketball in America and that Trinity-Pawling would help me get there,” Fechner explained.

He first picked up a basketball about ten years ago, when he tagged along with a friend to a club basketball practice. “I originally started playing soccer, as most kids in Germany do,” Fechner shared. “After that first practice though, I knew basketball was my game.” Since then, Fechner has excelled in the sport, winning state championships in Hamburg and playing in the highest basketball league in Germany.

But his jump shot is only one of he many talents. Besides being a stellar student and athlete (he also runs cross country for Trinity-Pawling), Fechner is also a gifted pianist. “My mom encouraged me to start playing piano about eight years ago, and I’m so grateful she did,” Fechner explained. “I immediately fell in love with it.” Even with his busy schedule between school and basketball, he has always made time to sit down at the piano and play — even writing his own compositions. The Trinity-Pawling community had the privilege of hearing one of his original pieces earlier this month in an all-school assembly. Fechner composed “Elegy for the Bike” in memory of a bicycle he received from his grandfather. When he completed his performance, he received a standing ovation from the entire school. “That was the best feeling in the world,” he recalled, smiling.

As he eagerly heads into basketball season, Fechner is grateful for the lessons he has learned from playing piano, and intends to keep playing and composing. “Playing piano has taught me patience, hand coordination, and how to do multiple things at the same time. These all help me with basketball too,” he said. “Both piano and basketball are places of refuge for me and motivate me to push myself and keep improving.”

With the fall term almost behind us, Fechner has thoroughly enjoyed his first few months at Trinity-Pawling and he looks forward to what’s ahead — on the court, behind the piano, and everywhere in between.

by Emma Christiantelli