You may recognize the name Niko Bevens after the UAA junior recently tied the school record in men’s basketball for most points scored in a half during their match in early November against Hawaii Pacific.
“I’ve been playing since third grade,” said Bevens. “Both of my parents, specifically my dad, have been the biggest influence. He’s a sports fanatic, he loves the game and he has always supported me by trying to get me into the best camps and teams growing up.”
“My favorite part about basketball is how fast paced it is,” he also said. “I love all sports, and I played baseball, but it was just too slow paced so I gave it up to become a basketball player.”
His long history of the sport began at a young age and developed enough to send him from the Lower 48 to the Last Frontier.
“My freshman year out of high school, I went to North Idaho College. It was a two-year program so it was a junior college. Out of that I received an offer from the University of Montana because I had a pretty good year, so I transferred over there and I played there.”
During his time at the University of Montana, Bevens and his team won the Big Sky Conference and traveled to the NCAA Division I Tournament.
“I was seeking better opportunities to play more and to showcase my talent somewhere that I could fit better, so I chose UAA,” he said.
Bevens is a journalism and public communications major with a business minor; however, he is still not set on his future plans.
“I like writing,” said Bevens. “I like the idea of being a journalist, but right now I’m still trying to figure it out.”
Although he is a busy body, Bevens said that he is planning on finishing at UAA. After college, he plans to continue his basketball career.
“I have always wanted to play professionally,” he said. “NBA is kind of a stretch, but I’ve always wanted to play overseas. Somewhere in Europe or just kind of travel the world.”
To help himself prep for a game, Bevens has unique pre-game rituals that involve chewing gum and tying shoes.
“I usually wake up and make a big breakfast because I try not to eat three to four hours before the game just so I can play on a mellow stomach,” he explained. “Then I chew gum before warmups, spit it out before I start and I tie my left shoe a little loose. I don’t know it’s just kind of a funny thing that I do.”
Hopefully the rituals pay off as Bevens maintains his number one spot for 3-point field goals made, 26. As the season continues he will have more chances. The men’s basketball team will be traveling to Fairbanks this weekend for another conference game.
Afterwards, the team will compete against Seawolf alumni on Dec. 19 before they go on winter break. However, there will be two home games in the beginning of January.
For all things Seawolf athletics be sure to check out goseawolves.com.