Many athletes at Bowdoin become close with their teammates and other athletes, but for basketball players Lydia Caputi ’18 and Blake Gordon ’18, their friendship began far before Bowdoin.
Gordon and Caputi have been next door neighbors since the time they were four and five years old, respectively. Growing up living right next to each other in Brunswick and having a shared deep love for sports are what brought them together initially.
“We hung out a weird amount. In elementary school, for whatever reason, my family gave Blake a ride to school every single day,” Caputi said. “I don’t think it was because Blake couldn’t take the bus or couldn’t get a ride himself. It was just more fun.”
“We wanted to get to school at the same time to play football before class started,” said Gordon.
They overlapped for 10 years in the classroom and outside of school, played on the same baseball team together and had one-on-one pickup sessions every day at Bowdoin where Caputi’s dad worked as football coach. In fifth grade, they even told their parents that they were going to go to college together.
Over the years, their friendship has grown to be less focused on sports and their love of basketball and turned into something more. The two now once again live right next to each other, in different parts of the same duplex off campus, and are both seniors on the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
“We both just had this competitive nature when we were younger, and that bond grew up as we were maturing and going through puberty. Like middle school, high school, and then we really solidified our friendship, and it grew beyond sports into much bigger things,” said Gordon.
“Now, if I have a bad day or if something really cool happened I’ll go say what’s up to Blake,” Caputi added. “The order of things is like, I tell my family and then I tell Blake basically.”
As a result of Caputi and Gordon’s close friendship, the men’s and women’s basketball programs at Bowdoin have also grown much closer together as teams.
“If you throw a high five to one person on the women’s team or one person on the men’s team, suddenly you’re high fiving 10 of those guys or the entire team because you’re like ‘Ok, I don’t just want you to do well, I want your whole team to do well,’” Caputi said.
The two teams have much to congratulate each other about as both the men’s and women’s basketball teams have had fantastic starts to their seasons. Both teams are on five-game winning streaks and are ranked in the D3hoops.com national polls, which has not happened since February 2014.
Despite the successful records, the women’s team is still looking to improve each game. Caputi is confident in the Polar Bears’ ability to perform well during their season.
“We just have a little bit more swagger when we step on the court. We don’t walk into a game ever thinking that we’re going to lose,” she said. “Call it cockiness, call it confidence, I think it’s good. We prepare ourselves; we know what we’re going into.”
According to Gordon, the men’s team is also taking the season game-by-game with the ultimate goal being the NESCAC Champion.
“You know finishing top in our conference is always a goal that we all have. We’re all hungry to win a NESCAC championship this year,” he said. “We haven’t done it in our program, and we’re a competitive enough team to do it this year, and it’s a matter of executing and getting our mindset right, treating every game like it’s our last.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams play Colby on Saturday. The men’s team travels to meet the Mules at 3 p.m., while the women face off at home at 2 p.m.