“The rims still love me, so that’s good.”
Among the faces practicing on the Reilly Center floor Wednesday afternoon, stood a familiar face of old. A face who put his school’s basketball legacy back on the map after a long hiatus.
Andrew Nicholson had returned home.
“Remembering being here is just amazing,” said Nicholson, who last stepped foot in the Reilly Center in 2016 to witness his number 44’s retirement into the rafters.
“I met with Schmidt yesterday and saw a bunch of my old professors and some old friends of mine, and it’s good to be back,” he added. “It’s always good to be back.”
The 6-foot-9 forward’s 2,103 points remain the second-highest total in St. Bonaventure University history.
After five years in the NBA, the man who led the Bonnies to their first Atlantic-10 Tournament title in program history has found a new home: playing for the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association.
“My lifestyle is always living in hotels, constantly bouncing around,” the CBA superstar said. “But being able to be somewhere I had been for so long is like coming home.”
Nicholson signed with the CBA in 2017, originally playing for the Guangdong Southern Tigers. He joined Fujian the following season and is in his third year with the organization.
“It’s been great,” he said of his transition to China. “Wherever the ball takes me, I’m going to go and try to be the best version of myself. I’m already 30, so I just want to keep playing as long as I can. It’s a blessing.”
Nicholson may not realize that for many Bonaventure faithful, HE is the blessing. After some of the worst years in program history, he paved the way for one of the most successful decades his alma mater has ever had on the court.
Despite the 7,580 miles separating Nicholson’s current office from his old one here in the Reilly Center, he will always be a Bonnie, and he will always be received warmly when he returns.
Welcome home, Andrew.