Fuller prepared for his second season as assistant coach for the Siena Saints
LOUDONVILLE — Basketball has provided Harley Fuller with plenty of opportunities over the years.
The Gloversville native’s playing career took him from the high school ranks at Gloversville and Broadalbin-Perth to the college ranks at SUNY Cobleskill, D-1 Florida International University and Molloy College before playing in the pro leagues in Germany and Argentina.
He joined the coaching ranks at the high school level at Mayfield High School before moving up to the college level with Jamion Christian at D-1 Mount St. Mary’s in Maryland.
His journey continued back to the Capital District three years ago when Christian took over the head coaching job at Siena, bringing his staff with him.
Christian has since moved on; however, Fuller opted to stay on at Siena with coach Carmen Marciariello.
The move proved to be a positive one as he was promoted from Director of Basketball Operations to assistant coach under Marciariello last season.
Now, entering his second year in the position, Fuller is anxious for the season to get into full swing.
“Practice has been going very well,” Fuller said. “We have a great group of young men that are working hard every day. We know there will be a target on our back coming into this season having just won a MAAC title. But I know this program is ready for that challenge. We return a great core of talented players and our newcomers are adding a lot of value in a lot of different areas. There are certain restrictions as far as how many people can be in the gym at one time, increased COVID testing and other variables that we are dealing with in order to even practice. However, these are circumstances that every team in the country is facing. So we will continue to work hard and smart within those guidelines.”
In his initial season at Siena, Fuller continued the work developing scouting reports on Christian’s staff as the director of scouting and analytics.
When Christian moved on to the head coaching job at George Washington, and Marciariello took over the head coaching reigns at Siena, Fuller stayed on with the Saints.
“Jamion gave me my first opportunity at the division 1 level and has been a great mentor for me for the past three or four years and still will be moving forward,” Fuller said. “But the opportunity that I was presented with to stay and work for Carmen in an assistant coaching role, was something I couldn’t/wouldn’t pass up.”
Making the move to a new coaching position was not a difficult transition
“I was also able to spend a lot of time with Carmen in my first year at Siena, and we developed a good relationship and I highly value his mentorship as well,” Fuller said. “Carmen and Jamion hold many of the same core values. They are both great basketball minds, work extremely hard, and both have allowed me to not only learn but grow as a coach and person Furthermore, Siena is such a special place, with such a rich tradition, so overall the adjustment hasn’t been difficult.”
The promotion brought new responsibilities and challenges.
“I am responsible for our Player Development program, Personnel Scouting [scouting opposing players], as well as orchestrating our press offense, press defense, out of bounds plays, side out of bounds plays as well as recruiting student athletes,” the second-year assistant coach said. I have been really fortunate to work for both Carmen and Jamion. Being able to work for two great, younger, up and coming coaches that I have a great deal of belief in, has really been a blessing.”
The Saints are scheduled to open the season on the road, playing in the Mohegan Sun bubble in Uncasville, Conn. on Nov. 26, Nov. 28 and Nov. 30 against opponents yet to be determined.
“We will actually be more than likely playing in a ‘Bubble’ for the first few games of our season on the road,” Fuller said. “From what I have heard there will be increased testing, and a number of safety measures put in place, including little or no fans. It will definitely be something that is different for this team going from playing in front of 7,000 fans a night to potentially zero. However, the most important thing is keeping everyone safe. So although it will be different, we are all excited to have the opportunity to even play given this horrific pandemic.”
The Saints return a solid core of players from last season team that went 20-10 overall and 15-5 in the MAAC, including double-digit scorers Manny Camper and Jalen Pickett.
“I’m excited to be working at Siena so close to where I grew up, coaching at the highest level, and very excited to chase another MAAC title this season,” Fuller said. “Overall, I am going to continue to strive to be the best I can be in all areas and show my son that if you work hard, believe in yourself, and do things the right way, that you can achieve anything you set your mind to, just like my parents taught and showed me.”