With redshirt junior Billy Oliver shelved with concussion symptoms, someone needed to step up.
When Nick Colella did, he tried to do his best filling in as one of the team’s go-to 3-point shooters.
And doing his best also happens to be the best on the team.
The Penn State Erie transfer is shooting 40 percent from behind the arc, second only to Oliver, who is out indefinitely, coach Patrick Chambers said.
Colella said he’s tried to take his most prominent skill and use it to the team’s advantage.
“It’s really hard to match Billy. Billy shoots lights-out from three,” Colella said. “I just try to come in and that’s the one thing I’m pretty good at.”
His performance in the past few weeks earned him the attention of Chambers, who called Colella over to talk before practice last week.
“He said he was proud of me, how hard I’ve been working and what I’ve been giving him in practice,” Colella said. “He said he’d like to help out with school and it went from there.”
His first call after receiving the news was to his parents.
“My mom was with my dad so they got the news at the same time,” Colella said. “They were just thrilled for me, excited. My mom started crying. It was a big thing.”
As for the scholarship, it was something Colella had been playing toward for a long time.
“It’s unbelievable. Everything I’ve been working toward, it paid off and it feels awesome.”