« Men’s Basketball 2014-15

Matt Townsend


Yale University

Molecular, cellular and developmental biology


Townsend has maintained a perfect 4.0 grade-point average through six semesters at Yale. Last winter, he was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Third Team, only the eighth player in school history and first since 1999 to earn Academic All-America honors. Townsend was elected to the Yale Phi Beta Kappa society as a junior, one of only eight juniors at Yale selected. He received an Achievement Award for outstanding performance (2nd in a class of 34 students) in his biochemistry lab. In his freshman year, he was the recipient of Yale’s J. Edward Meeker Freshman English Prize. Townsend is a three-time recipient of the team’s Richard Derby Academic Award. He was recently named a Rhodes Scholar, one of the oldest and most prestigious scholarly awards in the world. He became the fourth player in the history of Yale basketball to receive the award along with Robert McCallum, Mike Oristaglio and James McGuire.


Townsend was the recipient of Yale’s Francis Gordon Brown prize, which is awarded to the member of the junior class in Yale College who most closely approaches the standards of intellectual ability, high manhood, capacity for leadership and service to the university as set by Francis Gordon Brown. This summer Townsend was selected to participate in a Global Sports Academy basketball tour. The organization’s mission is to promote international goodwill and an enhanced understanding between nations through sports.


Townsend serves as the co-coordinator of Yale’s Bringing Relief Every Day (BRED) program, which is part of the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project. He collects leftover bread and baked goods from Yale’s dining halls once a week and delivers them to two New Haven halfway houses. In the summer of 2013, Townsend volunteered as a camp counselor at Camp Oasis, a week-long summer sleep-away camp for kids with inflammatory bowel disease and volunteered for 10 weeks in the Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department, assisting the anesthesiology team. In the summer of 2012, Townsend volunteered in Yale-New Haven Hospital’s emergency department, playing games with young patients and their families.


Townsend has appeared in 80 games, including making 39 starts for the Bulldogs. Last year he started a career-high 22 games and was the only player on the team to start all 14 Ivy League games. He finished fifth on the team in scoring and helped Yale to 19 wins, a second-place finish in the Ivy League, and to reach the championship game of the CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament. In his sophomore season, Townsend was third on the team in rebounding (4.0 rpg.), tied for third in scoring (7.7 ppg.) and was the recipient of the team’s top defensive player award. He scored in double figures in four of the last five games of the season, including a career-high 19-point performance at Cornell. In his rookie season, Townsend appeared in 21 games off the bench.