BY MICHAEL KELLY
NISKAYUNA — Its season won’t start until Dec. 1, but the Niskayuna boys’ basketball team has already scored its first win of the 2015-16 season.
That’s because the Silver Warriors have recouped Andrew Evans, a senior who spent his junior season playing for Christian Brothers Academy after attending Niskayuna schools through his sophomore year of high school. One of the top players for the Brothers last season, Evans figures to be an immediate contributor and likely starter for the SIlver Warriors this winter.
“He’ll bring a much-needed dimension to our offense, something we didn’t have last year, and that’s a threat from the 3-point line,” said Bryan Mattice, Niskayuna’s boys’ basketball coach. “He’ll open up a lot of things for us in regards to his ability to shoot the ball and score for us from the outside.”
Evans, 17, officially made the decision to return to his hometown school in mid-August.
“It was a very tough decision for me,” Evans said. “I had a great experience at CBA, everyone there was great for me — but I wanted to finish off my senior year with all the kids I grew up with.”
Evans, a 6-foot-2 guard, played through the junior varsity ranks with Niskayuna before heading to CBA for his junior year. He said it was tough to tell CBA head coach Dave Doemel that he would not be returning for another season.
“I learned a lot from going there,” Evans said of CBA. “Doemel is always in the gym, he always has workouts after school for you. (What stood out is) just how dedicated they are, how they’re always trying to help you.”
Evans said Doemel, one of Section II’s basketball coaching legends, wished him luck back with his hometown teammates.
“He just let me know I could call him whenever I needed help with anything,” Evans said. “He was very classy about it.”
Niskayuna is scheduled to play CBA once this upcoming season. That game will take place Jan. 22 at Niskayuna. This past season, Evans helped CBA end Niskayuna’s season in the Section II Class AA playoffs; in a 73-60 CBA win in the first round, Evans scored 17 points.
With several key players returning from last year, the addition of Evans could make Niskayuna one of the dark horses in the Suburban Council for 2015-16.
“He’s going to provide opportunities for other people,” said Mattice, whose squad went 7-13 last season.
Evans was able to play in one night of summer league action with the Silver Warriors and said he is ready to get back on the court with Niskayuna this upcoming season.
“I’m just excited to be back playing with the kids I grew up with,” Evans said. “When we were younger, we were always one of the better teams, so now I’m excited to see what we can do.”