Siena welcomes honorary team member Evan Franz

Sports

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Siena men’s basketball coach Carmen Maciariello announced the addition of an honorary team member. Evan Franz, a 17-year-old Brunswick native who has been a Siena fan for as long as he can remember, is now on the Saints roster.

“It’s really crazy to think that I’m part of the team,” said Franz before the team’s practice Thursday afternoon. Standing next to him was Maciariello, who preached why Franz is the perfect fit.

“He embodies everything that we want in our players,” said Maciariello.

Franz, a student at Tamarac High School, was diagnosed with Stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme in May 2019 and required immediate brain surgery. It’s been a battle since recovering his speech and mobility while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.

“He’s still fighting, and that’s why we want him around our group,” Maciariello said, offering the idea that Evan’s presence serves as a reminder that the team can overcome anything, including a blowout loss in their season opener at St. Bonaventure.

“I mean, obviously it’s the first game of the year, we’re playing a nationally ranked team,” said senior guard Jayce Johnson. “That’s not going to be who our team is in two months from now. So just take the good that we can, and the bad, just erase it.”

The Saints will head into their home opener this weekend against Delaware with clear minds, and a new pregame ritual. Franz will break down the team in the locker room.”

“‘Family on three,’ he’s going to do that for us,” said Maciariello, “as he’s part of our family.”

The newest brother will sit with his green and gold family at every home game right behind the bench where he can cheer on his teammates. Franz chipped in, “I’m ready to see those Siena Saints kick some you know what.”

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