Considering the fact that Jean-Philippe “Jack” Beaumont is playing two sports in college, he might very well be the best-kept athletic secret in Greens Farms Academy history.
Beaumont, a member of the GFA’s Class of 2017, is a two-sport athlete at the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland.
He went to the school to be a part of the school’s polo team, and this year, his second at the school, decided to play basketball, as well.
“I was always big into basketball because it was a fun sport,” Beaumont said over the holiday break. “I just figured I’d try out. Why not? I ended up making the team.”
A former classmate of GFA’s Sunday Okeke, who is currently playing for Wake Forest University, Beaumont makes sure his old friend knows he’s not the only Dragon hooping it up in college.
“It’s funny. I’m always joking around with Sunday about it,” Beaumont said. “He’s one of my good buddies.”
Beaumont admitted that basketball at St. Andrew’s can’t compare to that of what is being played at Wake Forest. For that matter, the former multi-year thirds basketball player admits, it doesn’t really compare to GFA, either.
“I’ll be honest. It doesn’t really compare,” he said. “It’s not as high a level which is why I’m able to go play. But I mean it’s still competitive. But you’re not going to see any Sunday’s in our league.”
Polo, however, is a different story.
If Wake Forest had a polo team, it wouldn’t compare to what’s happening on the turf at St. Andrew’s.
His family has a long relationship with horses and sports, though Beaumont opted to go in a different direction.
“My mom is a big horseback rider,” he said. “She got my older brother to jump and do equestrian events. She tried to get me to do that, but I was never into it.”
At least not until he discovered the sport of polo.
Polo gives him the family’s strong affection toward horses along with the team aspect the sports provides.
“A friend of my mom’s got us some free lessons,” Beaumont said of the start of his polo career. “I don’t know. I felt as thought since there was a ball for me for hit, it was more than just riding a horse.”
He was actually in high school when he started his polo career, but it stuck.
“I liked it a lot,” he said. “It’s kind of addictive.”
On Tuesday and Thursdays during the school year, Beaumont would make the nearly hour-long drive from Westport to Haviland Hollow in Patterson, N.Y.—34 miles as the horse trots.
Beaumont enjoyed the sport so much, it became a role in his college choice, as well.
Hence, St. Andrew’s becoming his final choice.
“It was a couple of different reasons, actually,” he said. “One, I love to travel. I did a few programs throughout high school, community service trips, language learning trips, and I loved them. Those are some of the highlights of my life.”
Going to college at St. Andrew’s would give him another international experience with one extra caveat.
St Andrew’s is about 50 percent United Kingdom students with the other 50 percent coming from all over the world.
“That was really cool for me. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Beaumont said, adding “And they have a polo team.”
Beaumont, who is majoring in business management, has also found himself to be a pretty juggler.
Taking part in two sports in college on top of the rigors of St. Andrew’s academic world can be trying.
“It can be a little tough managing it all,” Beaumont said. “But one thing college teaches everyone is time management.”
He also takes some ribbing from both sets of his teammates.
“I get a lot of jokes from my basketball buddies when I have to go to polo practice, but the polo guys will give it to me for going to play basketball,” he said.
One of the best kept athletic secrets in GFA history will keep it up, though, for as long as he enjoys it.