LOUDONVILLE — It’s a memory Carmen Maciariello had previously shared.
Tuesday night, though, he offered up a visual to go along with the story he’s told regarding his experience at a Siena College basketball camp when he was a youngster. On the 32-year anniversary of receiving it, he tweeted out an image of the poor evaluation he received as a camper that included a comment, in part, that Maciariello was “a very good kid but in all honesty he is not a basketball player.”
Do yourself a favor and zoom in! Exactly 32 years ago TODAY, I was told by a Siena Summer Camp counselor, I was not a basketball player. Not only did I end up playing for Siena, but now I’m running the very same camp and program! 🐶 #Siena #Saints #MarchOn pic.twitter.com/pzWJBQKBwo— Carmen Maciariello (@CoachCarm) August 7, 2019
All these years later, Maciariello is the Siena men’s basketball head coach and runs that camp.
At Wednesday’s summer fan event for the school’s basketball programs, Maciariello said he’d saved that evaluation for motivation.
“It’s a constant reminder that only you know the size of your heart and what you can do,” Maciariello said. “You can do anything you want when you put your mind to it.”
Maciariello starred locally at Shenendehowa High School before playing college basketball for New Hampshire and Siena, and professionally in Italy. He was hired earlier this year as the Siena men’s basketball program’s 18th head coach.
As a 9-year-old, though, Maciariello was just starting to take an interest in basketball. He had started shooting around with a couple friends, and heard they were going to Siena’s camp.
“And I wanted to go, too” Maciariello said. “So I signed up, went to camp, then looked at the report card had all these 1s, and thought I did a great job. Then, I realized I did a bad job.”
The evaluation form was mostly filled with circled 1s and 2s on an out-of-5 scale in which a 5 was the best. Maciariello’s lone 5 was achieved in the “team player” category, and the evaluation did praise him for his “great effort + hustle all over” the court.
Throughout his playing career, Maciariello said he learned how to use doubters to his benefit.
“The sky is the limit when you don’t believe in limitations or set a ceiling on how great you can be,” Maciariello said.
‘EAGER TO PLAY’
His time on the court this summer has been limited because of an issue with his right foot, but redshirt sophomore Don Carey said he cannot wait for the 2019-20 season after having to sit out last season after transferring.
“I’m eager to play,” Carey said. “I’m just excited to play games with the team and have a chance to win a championship at the end of the year.”
Carey said he has missed some court work this summer because of a “little stress fracture” in his right foot. He said he had an MRI Wednesday, and could be cleared soon.
“It’s nothing serious,” Carey said.
Maciariello agreed with that assessment.
“We’re just making sure he doesn’t overdo it,” Maciariello said of Carey getting some time off. “He’s a hard worker — he’s in the gym a ton — and we wanted to make sure he’s not wearing himself out.”
Carey and sophomore Jalen Pickett are expected to team during the 2019-20 season to form one of the MAAC’s best backcourts.
“It’s been really natural,” Carey said of his fit alongside Pickett, last season’s MAAC Rookie of the Year and a first-team all-conference pick. “I feel like we’ve played together really well.”
“When he’s been out there, it’s been great,” Pickett said. “It’s a 1-2 punch, but we need to keep working at it.”
‘THAT’S MY GUY’
Pickett said he was at this year’s CP3 Elite Guard Camp in North Carolina when he found out sophomore forward Sloan Seymour was leaving Siena.
Pickett said Seymour had called him to let him know about his July departure, then texted Pickett to inform him when the guard missed the call. Recently, Seymour committed to George Washington to play for former Siena head coach Jamion Christian.
“That’s my guy. I love Sloan Seymour,” said Pickett, who first visited Siena at the same time as Seymour. “That’s 'Slime.' That’s what I call him. . . . We’re not playing his brand of basketball, but he’s going to be successful wherever he goes. Going back with coach Christian, he was successful last year in that offense, and that’s probably just going to grow for him.”
While Pickett said he wished Seymour the best, he also said the departure motivated the remaining Saints.
“It brought us closer together,” Pickett said. “We want to show everybody how good we really are.”
SIENA VS. UALBANY
During Wednesday’s fan event, Siena women’s basketball head coach Ali Jaques said her Saints will host the University at Albany for a non-conference game on Dec. 7.
The men’s basketball teams from both schools, though, are not scheduled to play.
UAlbany and Siena did not play in basketball during the 2018-19 season after playing for the Albany Cup in every year from 2001 to 2017.