Nick Perioli has found himself in a familiar place, but he has also found a new role with the Oswego State men’s basketball team.
"It’s my first taste of coaching," Perioli said.
The only Laker ever to surpass 1,000 points, 400 rebounds, 500 assists and 200 steals, Perioli spent two years of playing basketball in a Premier Basketball League in Buffalo, then went to Europe to play with the Dresden Titans. It was there that Perioli realized his time as a player was coming to an end and that it was time to start something new: coaching.
"Just being in Europe, being away from everybody and playing and banging your bodies," Perioli said. "Trying to compete with two or three practices a week and two games a week really took its toll. So I think that was the main reason why it was just time for me to play just for fun and really work on more of a career-type goal. I knew I wasn’t going to play for five or ten years."
After returning from Europe, Perioli contacted coach Adam Stockwell about possible openings. He was then able to express interest and hear what Stockwell had to offer.
"Coach Stockwell and I have known each other from playing against his team [Clarkson] and Oswego [State]," he said. "So the minute I knew he was coaching here, I wanted to contact him and see what his thoughts were about bringing me on."
One thing Perioli is able to relate to the team is the ability of knowing how to juggle academics and sports. He knows about the tests on top of the practicing and preparing for games from his time as a student-athlete at Oswego State.
"Well a lot of the [players] have the professors I had, and the academic support people that I had, live in the dorm that I lived in," he said. "They’ve had some questions regarding classes and regarding academic support and study halls stuff and come to me with questions."
Perioli may have taken different routes since his days as a student, but he always knew he wanted to coach. It’s only fitting that he starts at the school that allowed him to play two sports: baseball and basketball. Now that he knows his future goal and what he would like to do, he has a mentor to help him out in Stockwell.
"I like the college level," he said. "There are definitely some things I still need to learn and understand before I’m ready for a bigger jump and a head [coaching] job. I’m definitely learning those things under coach Stockwell and that way, when I am ready, you know he will have prepared me well for it. "