ALBANY — When Brian Barnes was recruiting Matt Farbotko to join his fledging men’s basketball team at Sage College, he had high expectations for the forward from Northeastern Clinton.
Four years later, Farbotko has been everything Barnes had hoped for. On Wednesday night, Farbotko became the program’s first 1,000-point scorer in a loss to Farmingdale State.
“Matt’s become everything we envisioned as a student-athlete,” said Barnes, who is both the men’s coach and assistant athletic director. “He’s a poster boy for our program, which we told him when we recruited him we thought that was the role he could fill. He’s got one of our highest GPAs, well over a 3.0 for his academic career, and 1,000 points. He’s exactly what we want representing the program.”
Farbotko, a senior, said he would rather have had the win Wednesday but was happy to reach a goal he set as a freshman.
“It meant a lot. It was kind of nerve-wracking the last couple of games not knowing when I was going to get it or not,” he said. “I just kind of wanted to get it out of the way. It’s a big milestone I wanted to accomplish when I came here.”
Farbotko has been a model of consistency for the Gators since he was a freshman in their inaugural season of 2009-10. Though a bit undersized in the Skyline Conference as a 6-foot-3 forward, he has been able to use his quickness and ball-handling to get by bigger post players, Barnes said. In 78 games, Farbotko has averaged 12.8 points and 5.9 rebounds while shooting 50.9 percent from the field.
“Matt always could score the ball, obviously with 1,000 points,” Barnes said. “What’s really impressed me is his growth as a team leader, his competitive spirit really trying to move the team forward every day.