LOUDONVILLE — The days of Nico Clareth playing for Siena are over. The school announced Wednesday that the junior guard and the program had reached a “mutual decision to part ways” after missing the past two games.
The decision comes after much controversy over the 2 1/2 years he was with the program, as he left the team for seven games last season on a leave of absence, only to return mid-season. He was named a team captain prior to this season starting.
About 30 minutes before the team’s home game on January 5 against Niagara, Siena announced that Clareth had left the team and went down to his native Baltimore to deal with a “family issue.” Siena assistant coach Greg Manning went to Baltimore on Saturday to meet with Clareth and his mother. Both Clareth and Manning have since returned to the area.
Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos said that he and Clareth had met on Monday and Tuesday, coming to a final decision on Tuesday night.
“He’s a very smart guy, Nico. What we came up with was maybe it’s better to part ways now but staying together as a family. His future’s down the road,” Patsos said.
He was the team’s leading scorer this season with 15.1 points per game over 15 games, starting six of them and averaged 26.5 minutes per game. He averaged 13.7 points per game last season as a sophomore.
“He’s a very talented player and we’re going to miss Nico’s fire and his scoring ability and his athleticism,” Patsos added.
In his final game, a 71-70 loss against Quinnipiac on January 1, he finished with just two points, a season-low. As far as his off-the-court life goes, he will finish out the academic year at Siena and then transfer.
“Right now what’s best for me, my family, and the team, is for me to step away. I appreciate the opportunity that was given to me at Siena, and I’m thankful for the chance to be able to finish out the school before transferring to continue my pursuit of a college degree. I would also like to give a special thanks to the fans for the support I received during my time here,” Clareth said in a statement through the school.
Siena is 5-12 this year, and 1-3 in conference play. They are back in action Thursday night on the road against Iona. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.