DUDLEY — It was a milestone weekend for Lynn native Marcos Echevarria. This past Saturday, Echevarria scored his 2,000th career point for the Nichols College men’s basketball team in an 85-64 win over Endicott. Echevarria became the third player in Bison program history to reach the plateau and ranks third in career scoring behind Ryan Sheehan (2,016) and Billy Collins (2,014).
“It was just a great accomplishment,” Echevarria, a St. Mark’s product, said. “I owe all the thank you’s and support to all my family, friends, coaches and teammates. It’s like a dream come true. To be the third player in school history to reach that, you have to cherish it. You have to give yourself credit where credit is due. I was very proud of myself and my team.”
Echevarria finished the game with 22 points on 8-of-19 shooting. He entered the season with 1,889 career points and is averaging 21.2 points per game.
An accounting major who’s currently enrolled in Nichols’ master’s program, Echevarria was joined by friends and family members at Nichols Athletic Center, as well as a strong contingent of Bison fans who attended the game. Making the feat even more memorable is that Nichols earned a Commonwealth Coast Conference win over Endicott and remained undefeated at 6-0.
“Endicott’s always a tough matchup for us,” Echevarria said. “The atmosphere’s always great. Our fans come out, families come out. To be able to score 2,000 and get the win, it was like the cherry on top. I give Endicott a lot of credit. They compete every year.
“We’re 6-0 right now so I couldn’t have asked for a better start,” Echevarria continued. “We have a lot of returners and a lot of new guys. We had our ups and downs in the preseason. I think we’re finding our rhythm. We had a coaching change and a lot of us were nervous about that. Everything’s worked for the better. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my senior season.”
Saturday was a busy day for the Echevarria family. It started in Foxborough, where Echevarria’s younger brother, Jalen, played in the Division 7 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium as a member of the St. Mary’s football team. Marcos made the trip to Gillette before commuting back to campus for his game. A two-sport athlete who’s also a talented basketball player, Jalen’s 26 points away from reaching 1,000 career points at St. Mary’s. This was Jalen’s first season of varsity football.
“I’m super proud of Jalen,” Echevarria said. “Originally I didn’t want him to play football but it worked for the best. For him to be 26 away from 1,000, that’s going to be an emotional moment for our family. He’s put in a lot of work. He’s not the tallest player but to see him work hard, that’s amazing. Hopefully I can be there for that game and show him how much I support his hard work. It’ll be a great moment for our family.”
With Nichols playing its best basketball, the Bison feel they’re in a good position in the early going of the season. Echevarria pointed to solid team camaraderie as one of the keys to the team’s ideal start.
“A lot of us are being selfless,” Echevarria said. “A lot of teams usually have some type of ego or players who might think they should be playing over others. We have a lot of selfless players. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing two minutes or 20 minutes. That helps us succeed on and off the court.”
The Bison have made back-to-back appearances in the Division 3 NCAA Tournament. They suffered a quick exit last year after a solid run two seasons ago. Echevarria and his teammates have another tournament run on the back of their minds.
“It’s something we’re working toward,” Echevarria said. “We have a sign in our locker room that reads ‘NCAA Tournament.’ We tap it every time we leave the locker room. Right now, we have to put our heads down and work hard every day. It’s definitely something that’s in the back of our minds and something that motivates us.”
Echevarria and the Bison visit Curry Tuesday evening (5:30).