Rick Basak

Hamden High School
Hamden, Connecticut

He’s a tennis and science guru. But it’s a basketball hoop that fuels his success.

Rick Basak hails from the same hometown as Eli Whitney, the American inventor best known for conceptualizing the cotton gin and helping to spark the Industrial Revolution. As a child, Rick spent countless hours in the local Eli Whitney Museum, infatuated by the model train set and intrigued by the museum director’s explanations of speed and acceleration. His early interest in these mathematical concepts and problem solving has evolved into a true passion for science, which Rick pursues today as president of the Math Team, a member of the Science Bowl, and a volunteer in the lab medicine group at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Rick has high hopes of becoming his neighborhood’s next version of the famous inventor and making a lasting contribution to the world. While his sports of choice—tennis and table tennis—rely on skills with racquets and paddles, it’s actually a basketball hoop that keeps him focused on his goal. Rick’s parents bought him a hoop when he was young and set it to the lowest height. He practiced relentlessly, raising the hoop little by little to keep presenting a challenge and encourage himself to improve.

Today, when Rick faces a particularly tough situation, such as last year’s AP physics course, he recalls that hoop, and he pushes himself to raise the bar and work even harder. In physics, coming in early every day to pour over formulas and spending lunch studying with his teacher resulted in an A in the course. In all other areas of his life, Rick’s dedication and commitment move him ever closer to his dream of one day making his mark on the world.





  • 3 years Varsity Letter Winner
  • 2 years All-Conference
  • All-District as a Junior
  • Qualified for State Tournament

Table Tennis

  • 2 years Captain (Travel Team)
  • 2 years Varsity Letter Winner
  • 2 years MVP
  • Tae-Kwon-Do

    • Black Belt


Academic Honors & Awards

  • National Honor Society (President)
  • Spanish National Honor Society (Vice President)
  • RPI Medalist
  • AP Scholor
  • Inspired by Tagore International Poetry Anthology Competition (Published Writer)
  • 3rd Place in GNHML (Math League)



School & Community Involvement

  • Senior Class Treasurer
  • Parichoy Magazine (Editor, Writer)
  • Math Team (President)
  • Science Bowl/Olympiad Team (Varsity Member)
  • House Leadership Council
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital Lab Medicine Group
  • Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen Volunteer
  • Parichoy and NASKA Cultural Group
  • Greater Waterbury Youth Orchestra (Violinist)
  • Hamden High School Orchestra (Violinist)
  • Hamden High School Orchestra Council






“Everything I do is like a basketball hoop, and it is up to me to raise it and challenge myself.”
~ Rick Basak ~