Nestled within the back roads of Hampshire near railroad tracks and surrounded by open land dusted with snow lies the Dumoulin family farm.
Three generations of Dumoulins live on the pig farm, and each has been part of a family tradition: playing basketball for the Hampshire Whip-Purs.
Dating to Bill Dumoulin, 85, who graduated from Hampshire High School in 1946, 13 Dumoulins have donned the purple and white on the basketball court. Becky Dumoulin and her cousins Tricia and Nikki Dumoulin have carried on the family tradition, all in their second season on the varsity girls basketball team.
“Being with my family is probably the coolest thing ever,” Tricia Dumoulin said. “They always push me to be better. I know I can always rely on them whenever I’m needing help or anything I need to do. They’re always there for me. They’re always cheering me on.”
Becky, a senior, is the fourth in her immediate family to play for Hampshire, including her father Mike, a 1978 graduate. Tricia, a junior, and Nikki, a sophomore, are two of seven in their family to have played, which includes their father Pat, a 1979 Hampshire graduate.
“It’s really neat, especially because it’s my last year and I’m able to share it with both Tricia and Nikki,” Becky Dumoulin said. “ … It really helps because any time you get down on yourself, they’re there to help you cheer up.”
The concept of hard work has been instilled throughout their lives. Routinely awake at 5:30 a.m. to help on the farm, the Dumoulins all have chores and duties to fulfill – even if that means helping out when they get home after practice.
Perhaps one of the biggest perks of living in a farm house that features a common area between the two basketball-loving families’ living quarters is the Dumoulins’ 60-foot-by-25-foot indoor basketball court. The room was built 10 years ago, part of an addition on the existing farmhouse when Tricia and Nikki’s family outgrew their farmhouse.
The setup has led to some spirited games between siblings and cousins. It also affords Becky, Tricia and Nikki to get in extra shots whenever they want.
“Over the summer we spent a lot of time on our court,” Becky Dumoulin said. “We did a lot of shooting just to make sure we’re ready for the season.”
Although related, each of the Dumoulins brings something unique to the team and contributes offensively in different ways, Hampshire coach Mike Featherly said. Featherly described Becky as a calming presence on the court, while Tricia runs the floor well and Nikki is one of Hampshire’s best ball handlers.
“They understand the value of hard work,” Featherly said of the trio. “They’re always humble. … I think they’re just expected to work hard, and that’s that. I don’t think they stop and look at the bigger picture [of the family tradition]. They’re too busy working hard and trying to do the right thing.”
Given the time they spend together at home, school, basketball practices and games, it would be understandable if Becky, Tricia and Nikki wished they didn’t spend so much time together. But all three said they wouldn’t change the circumstances and credit their family for their successes on and off the basketball court.
“I really don’t think so because all of us have such a good relationship with one another, and the more time I get to spend with my family, I feel really privileged,” Nikki Dumoulin said. “I’d rather be at home with my family than at school with friends.”
The Dumoulins’ varsity basketball history at Hampshire:
Bill, 1946 graduate
Mike, 1978 graduate
Bridget, 21, and Becky, a senior
Pat, 20, and Mikey, 18
Pat, 1979 graduate
Cassie, 22, Alex, 21, Michelle, 20, Jenny, 19, Tricia, a junior, and Nikki, a sophomore