In competitive sports, whether it’s high school football or NBA basketball, it’s extremely rare that a team wins the last game of the season. Winning the last game of the season usually means you not only won the game, but something of more value. More often than not it’s a championship, and that is what the Broncos were able to accomplish this season. Taking it another level, it’s not often a player wins their last game of their careers. Niyi Harrison, Raymond Cowels III, and Kyle Perricone were all able to do exactly that.
Niyi Harrison came to Santa Clara after a fantastic career at Bellermine College Prep, where he led them to back-to-back CCS Division 1 championships. He was named first-team all league in both his junior and senior year, and was the runner up for the Mercury News player of the year in 2009. He elected to stay close to home and went to Santa Clara on a basketball scholarship.
As a Bronco, Harrison started 45 games and played in 128. Those 128 games played puts him at tied for 4th all-time at Santa Clara for career games played. Throughout his career he averaged 5.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.
After a decent freshman season, Harrison regressed a bit in his sophomore season. His scoring average dipped from 7.6 points per game, to 3.6 points per game in that 2 year span. However, as a junior, he put up some great stats.
His junior season was likely his best as a Bronco. Harrison started 28 of the 30 games in 2011-2012, and led the team in rebounding with 188 total throughout the course of the season. He averaged 10.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in that season. Unfortunately for Harrison, his senior season was not equivalent to his junior season.
Harrison saw the least amount of action in his senior season that he did in any of his other three. He only averaged 10 minutes per game that season. His production took a tailspin as a consequence of his lack of playing time. This is due to the fact that Harrison was out at the start of season with a back injury. He was never able to re-establish himself in the front court rotation for the Broncos. One can imagine what his season would have been like if he was not hit with this adversity. Regardless, Harrison had a fantastic career as a Bronco and endured the up’s and down’s of his career with a great deal of resiliency.
Raymond Cowels III was a very interesting player who played at a high level throughout his time at the university. In high school, Cowels was a 2-star small forward out of Minneapolis who elected to come to Santa Clara over schools such as Iowa, Loyola-Chicago, UW-Green Bay, and Northwestern.
Throughout his career, he averaged 8 points and 3 rebounds per game as a Bronco. Cowels was fairly consistent throughout his career at Santa Clara, and was known as more of a defensive specialist. More often than not, Cowels was the one who guarded the opposing teams best wing player.
Cowels III is tied with Marc Trasolini in the all-time record book in terms of career games played. He is 25th on the Broncos career scoring leader board, as well as 4th for career three-pointers made.
In the CBI finals Cowels helped the Broncos immensely with his 10 points and 5 rebounds per game. He was a huge asset out on the wing in their championship run.
Kyle Perricone, a 6’3″ walk on guard concludes his journey as a Santa Clara basketball player. His brother, sister, mother, and father are all either Santa Clara graduates or students. His dream of playing for the Broncos likely came true by playing as a walk-on for Keary Keatings squad.
Although Perricone logged only one start in 1 start in 27 games played, he will be missed. Perricone was a great player for practice comradery, and played his heart out when his name was called in clean up duty in games.
Congratulations to these three gentlemen for great careers as Broncos! It was a great moment to see this trio go out as champions.