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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Mechanicville’s Colin Richardson aims for a strong finish in his high school basketball career in Section 2


Colin Richardson: A Homecoming Story

MECHANICVILLE – Before starting high school, Colin Richardson faced a tough decision. After spending his eighth-grade year at Christian Brothers Academy, he had to choose between returning to Mechanicville or staying at CBA.

“I went to CBA my eighth-grade year,” Richardson said. “I just needed a little space from Mechanicville to get my head in the right space. CBA was great, it really is a brotherhood there.”

Ultimately, the three-sport athlete elected to return to his hometown, under the assumption his father would be his basketball coach all four years of high school.

However, now as a senior, Colin Richardson and his Mechanicville teammates have a new coach, while Rian Richardson is happy to just be a parent watching from the stands.

“I’d probably say the word was mind-blowing at the time,” Richardson said of learning his dad was stepping down from leading the basketball program at the end of last season. “He had been my coach my whole life, so for him to say he was going to take a step back from coaching varsity, it was definitely mind-blowing.”

“Honestly, I thought he was going to ride or die with me all four years,” Richardson added. “He’s the reason I came back from CBA, because I wanted to be coached by my father all four years, but Alex [Lilac] is here now and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.”

After the news broke last spring about Lilac taking over the Mechanicville basketball program, the two didn’t waste any time getting to know each other.

Colin Richardson, who is committed to play Division II baseball at Adelphi University next year, kicked off his relationship with his new basketball coach with a golf outing.

“We were able to touch base early on, especially since his dad gave the school his blessing,” Lilac said of getting acquainted with Colin Richardson. “After it became public that I was coming, we played golf together in Mechanicville.”

Things have seemed to work out pretty well so far, with Richardson helping to lead Mechanicville to its best season in recent years, a 9-2 overall record and 5-2 in Wasaren League play.

“Every day, Colin comes down and asks how he can improve, watches film and works on how we can improve as a team,” Lilac said. “It’s really felt like he’s an extension of me out there on the floor in practices and games.

“Now he just doesn’t have to go home and have dinner with his coach.”

Part of the transition for Richardson and his teammates means adjusting to Lilac’s style.

“Alex loves to run a trap-man [defense], and my dad ran a 3-2 the entire 15 years he coached,” Richardson said. “On offense, Alex really lets us play basketball with all the skilled players we have.”

“I think in the past there were more set plays and quick hitters, where now we’re more about spacing and action-based offense, looking to get up and down and create opportunities that way,” Lilac explained.

Given Mechanicville’s strong record, those adjustments weren’t too tall a task, which is something Lilac credits to his group’s experience.

“There’s a lot of varsity experience, where my starting five have all played at least two previous seasons of varsity basketball,” Lilac said. “Even though they’re used to doing things a certain way, I’ve been kind of stunned by the way that they’re able to evolve so easily to the new things I’ve implemented. That’s really allowed us to hit the ground running, how they’ve been able to adapt to the new and build on the old.”

Colin Richardson’s journey back to Mechanicville has been a story of growth, change, and adaptation. His decision to return home has not only impacted his own life but has also contributed to the success of the Mechanicville basketball team. With a new coach and a new style of play, Richardson has shown resilience and leadership, making him an invaluable asset to his team.

Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan, an informed and passionate sports reporter, is a former college athlete with a degree in Sports Communication from Ithaca College. Go Bombers!
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  1. Great to see Colin Richardson striving for excellence in his final year of high school basketball! Best of luck to him in Section 2!


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