CANTON — SUNY Canton men’s basketball player Andrew Fitch has lived in many places, including Melbourne, Australia, but for the past five years he has truly made Canton his home.

Fitch, a 7-foot-1, 220-pound forward, is a graduate student this season, studying engineering.

“NCSA is a recruiting website online and I put my name out there, without paying anything,” Fitch said. “The first school to reach out to me was SUNY Canton. I was looking for an engineering school with hands-on learning and a really good basketball program and SUNY Canton was my top choice when I went to visit schools.”

Fitch is an American citizen. His bio on the team roster lists his hometown as Melbourne, but he was there only during his high school years.

Before spending six years in Australia, Fitch lived as a child in Illinois and Arizona.

In addition to his studies and basketball, Fitch has become involved in the Canton community and was named the 2021 North Atlantic Conference Man of the Year.

He serves in committees on campus, including being chair of the student hearing board. He’s a Bible study leader and a member of the audio visuals team for church services. He’s preached at services on campus and led a youth group as well.

“I can’t say enough about (Canton),” Fitch said. “The people are amazing, from my barber and her kid who I first met when I got here. Melissa Evans, who is the executive director of enrollment here, I’ve helped her on her farm. Those type of things I love doing for the community. I love helping and I absolutely love this area.”

In three-plus seasons, Fitch has played an average of 22.4 minutes a game. He averages eight points and 9.5 rebounds and he has blocked 266 shots.

Fitch has also made 34, 3-point baskets and shot 34.7 percent from 3-point range.

“He’s a leader on the court and on campus he is someone who excels in everything he does,” Roos coach Shiva Senthil said. “We go into every game and we are the biggest team, and he just changes the game with his length and shot-blocking ability. Defensively, he moves his feet as well as any center I have ever seen at the Division III level. He’s pretty aggressive. He’s going to be a great defender, but he’s not out there fouling.”

SUNY Canton’s last full season was in 2019-20 and the Kangaroos were 16-12 overall and 10-4 in the NAC, winning the conference tournament and reaching the NCAA Division III tournament for the first time in school history.

Last season, SUNY Canton played just one game due to COVID-19.

“I want to thank the administration and staff who, during COVID, worked tirelessly to get things going for the school,” Fitch said. “It didn’t work out as much as we thought it would, but this year it’s really worked out.”

Fitch said he was 5-foot-9 when he was 12 and grew about three inches every year until he was 17.

The American college game was an adjustment for him after arriving from Australia.

“It’s a lot more athletic,” Fitch said. “The guys jump out of their socks it feels like. The competition is different, it’s more athletic and faster-paced. The shot clock is a little different too, 30 seconds instead of 24. The college atmosphere is way different.

“My thought process (was), I want to be a big fish in a small pond. I felt like when I came here I was a big fish in a small pond. A lot of people were seeing me and knew who I was. There was pressure to be a 7-foot, really good basketball player. I just tried my best every day.”

MEN’S TEAMS

Clarkson Golden Knights

Coach: Jeff Gorski (8th year).

Recent records: 6-3 (20-21), 8-17, 6-12 (2019-20).

Roster: Joe Lucas (Sr. F), Dante Joefield (So. G), Roburt Welch (Sr. G), Nick Budesheim (So. G), Frankie Rainville (Fr. G), Alex Vaccaro (r. G/F), Chris Hulbert (Jr. G), Jake Vaccaro (Fr. F), Marques Bouyer (Jr. F), Gabe Murphy (Fr. F), Malachi Harris (Fr. G), Blake Gearhart (So. G), Jason Phelps (Sr. G), Reese Swedberg (Jr. F), Garrett Delaney (Fr. G), Liam Prendergast (Fr. F).

St. Lawrence Saints

Coach: Chris Downs (25th year).

Recent records: 0-1 (20-21), 8-17 6-12 (19-20).

Roster: Trey Syroka (Fr.), Miles Davis (Jr.), Jack Scotnicki (Jr.), Andy Downs (So.), Carter Storey (So.), Luke Hicks (Sr.), Gavin Macaulay (Fr.), Liam McDonald (Jr.), Tommy Flanagan (Fr.), Aiden Macaulay (Fr.), Andrew Cowan (Fr.), Trent Adamson (Jr.), Nate Schmitt (Fr.), Jack Wirtanen (Fr.), Will Engelhardt (Jr.).

SUNY Canton Kangaroos

Coach: Shiva Senthil (3rd year).

Recent records: 0-1 (2020-21), 16-12, 10-4 (2019-20).

Roster: Kobe Harrington (Jr. G), Demerrill Levy (Jr. G), Quran Dubois (Jr. G), Sammy Angelo (So. G), Juztin Chambers-Phillips (Sr. G), Justin Omaga (Jr. G), Brandon Averitt (Jr. G), Juan LaMarche (Jr. G), Brennan Harmer (So. G), Danny Santana (Sr. G), Moustapha Biao (Fr. G), Fadil Atcha-Dedji (Jr. F), Eli Larson (Fr. F), Terrence Fields (So. G), Dominic Thomas (Fr. F), Peyton Olsen (So. G), Zion Tevaga (So. F), Chris Stephen (So. F), Andrew Fitch (Gr. F), Michael Nunnally (Fr. G), Harry Quinlan (Fr. G).

SUNY Potsdam Bears

Coach: Jim Bechtel (4th year).

Recent records: 20-7, 14-4 (2019-20).

Roster: Tyrese Baptiste (Jr. C/F), MeSean Johnson (Fr. G), Brian Pod (So. G), Austin Dropkin (So. G), Reginald Smith Jr. (Jr. G/F), Isaac Oduro Jr. (So. G), Brandon Segar Jr. (Jr. F), Jeff Williamson (Fr. G), Parker Kelly (Fr. F), Kaleb Lewis (Fr. G), Colton Huestis (So. G), Dante Viskovich (Sr. F), Chris Becker (So. C).

WOMEN’S TEAMS

Clarkson Golden Knights

Coach: Maureen Webster (7th year).

Recent records: 6-5 (20-21), 8-16, 4-14 (19-20).

Roster: Cassidy Dumont (Fr. G), Mariah Benavides (Jr. G), Lauryn Withrow (Fr. G), Likhita Chanda (Fr. G), Maddie Pratt (Sr. F), Ava Pushor (Fr. F), Raine Tweedy (Fr. F), Ruthie Nolan (Fr. G), Elaina Porter (Jr. F), Emma Griffin (Sr. G), Lauren Bell (Sr. F), Veronica Tache (Fr. G), Kailey Johnson (Fr. G), Grace Towler (Fr. G).

St. Lawrence Saints

Coach: Dan Roiger (13th year).

Recent records: 5-4 (2020-21), 18-9, 13-5 (2019-20).

Roster: Rory Baker (Fr.), Dylan Watkiss (Sr.), Olivia Middleton (Jr.), Abby Doin (So.), Ava McCann (Sr.), Stella Davis (Jr.), Erin Kumler (Jr.), Shannon Rhone (So.), Katie Chisholm (Fr.), Jasmine Jenkins (Fr.), Olivia Barringer (So.), Sierra Sanson (Jr.), Gunnhildur Atladottir (Jr.), Cam Roberts (So.), Nicole Jeffery (So.), Katie Frederick (Sr.), Emma Plumley (Fr.).

SUNY Canton Kangaroos

Coach: Chris Klassen (2nd year).

Recent records: 0-4 (2020-21), 1-24, 1-13 (2019-20).

Roster: Daija Negron (Fr. G), Autumn Kunes (Jr. G), Joie Culkin (Jr. G), Antanasia Chambers (Jr. G), Alexis Sullivan (So. G), Shannyn St. Andrews (Jr. F), Samantha Dayter (Jr. G), Kennady Allen (Fr. F), Seattle Lettau (Fr. G), Hayleigh Armstrong (Fr. G), Mya Hodge (Fr. G), Hilliary Jones (Fr. G), Chelsey Raven (Sr. F), Shanelle Borth (Sr. F), Rae Sansone (So. C), Briana Brousseau (Fr. C), Jayda Pina (Fr. C).

SUNY Potsdam Bears

Coach: Brittany Cohen (6th year).

Recent records: 9-15, 6-12 (2019-20).

Roster: Xy’El Bradford (Fr. G), Patiece Riley (So. G), Dyamon Hunter (Jr. G), Mikayla Shipley (Fr. G), Madi McCormick (Jr. G), Jakia Howard (Jr. F), Kelsey Bennett (Fr. G), Alyson Crosby (Jr. F), Caroline LaFountain (So. G), Lauren Martin (Jr. G), Mandy Barnell (Jr. F), Bella Barner (So. G), Madison Soroka (So. G), Abbigail Crahan (Fr. G), Jenna Cotter (Fr. F), Deja Hall (Jr. F).

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

sportswriter

Have been with the WDT since the last week of December in 1993. Cover Clarkson and SLU men's and women's hockey, as well as other sports at those schools and SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton. Also cover Northern Athletic Conference high school sports

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