Dribbling down the court, he fakes out his defender and swiftly moves to the right, leaving his opponent in the dust. He glances up and watches the ball leap from his fingers and slide effortlessly through the center of the net. He hears his teammates cheer for him as he is filled with the excitement of scoring for the first time as a Sagehen.
That’s the goal for Charlie Treene PO ’26 this year, one of the newest members of the Pomona-Pitzer (P-P) men’s basketball team.
Hailing from Marin, California, Treene started playing organized basketball in first grade, continuing to hone his skills during elementary school while playing for his local youth league. After sixth grade, Treene took it to the next level by joining the travel team North Bay Basketball Association.
Treene said he has looked up to his grandfather throughout his basketball career.
“One inspiration around me is my grandpa, who played college basketball at Vermont,” Treene said. “I always thought that was cool … to have a family member who played basketball at a higher level.”
At Redwood High School, he was praised for his versatility.
“He’s tough — not many teams have a 6’7” [player] that can move and shoot and attack the rim very well,” his high school coach said in an interview for the Redwoork Bark. “We are able to put a lot of pressure on [opponents] teams, especially when they are undersized.”
As Treene grew older, he became more dedicated to the sport, with his sophomore year — his first year on the varsity team — being his most significant period of growth.
“I started to think about [college basketball] at the end of sophomore year, during COVID,” he said. “I started to figure out how I was going to start that process because previously it was always in my mind as something I wanted to do. In the fall of my junior year, I started reaching out to coaches.”
The beginning of the pandemic was an obstacle, he said, as it made it difficult for him to garner attention from colleges.
During the summer after his junior year, Treene visited Pomona while at a tournament for his club team. Treene recalled being taken aback by the beauty of the campus on his tour.
“I visited the campus … and I got a little tour from the coach, which was really cool,” Treene said. “Seeing the campus was an important aspect of really picturing myself here.”
This season looks to be a historic one for the Sagehens. They have most of their SCIAC division-winning team returning from last year with a few notable additions, including Treene. As Treene looks ahead at his career as a Sagehen, he has a team-oriented attitude.
“To win as a team — that’s always the No. 1 goal,” Treene said. “Winning the league and working toward going deeper into the NCAA tournament [is the goal].”