Siena men’s basketball junior guard Nico Clareth (Calvert Hall), the team's leading scorer, has left the program and will transfer at the end of the spring semester, Saints coach Jimmy Patsos announced Wednesday.
In a statement issued Wednesday by the school, Clareth said: "Right now what's best for me, my family, and the team, is for me to step away. I appreciate the opportunity that was given to me at Siena, and I'm thankful for the chance to be able to finish out the school year before transferring to continue my pursuit of a college degree here. I would also like to give a special thanks to the fans for the support I received during my time here."
The former All-Metro first-team selection, who remains on scholarship, left Albany on Friday to return home to Baltimore to deal with a family issue, according to the Times Union (N.Y.). After Siena assistant coach Greg Manning went to Baltimore over the weekend to meet with Clareth and his mother, Patsos and school athletic director John D'Argenio sat down with Clareth on Tuesday before a decision was reached.
"Sometimes it's better just to cut the situation off and move toward your new journey,'' Patsos said, according to the Times Union. "There's no ill will. It's just what's best for everyone. He was the one who said: 'I think I'm done. I don't want to hurt the team.' "
Clareth last season missed three games for an undisclosed rules violation and was out for another seven games after taking what Siena called a leave of absence. Named a captain before the season, he was the only Saints player scoring in double figures (15.1 points per game) on a 5-12 team. Clareth will have one more year of eligibility remaining after this season.