Noah Yearsley; In honor of a lost friend – by Jabari Shakir


Despite the loss of his best friend, MCLA’s Noah Yearsley finds his motivation  and success on the men’s basketball team. Ryan Bielawa, was killed in a hit and run while crossing the street on October 29, 2016. Yearsley pays tribute to him every basketball game.

“The loss of my best friend motivated me to make him proud, and I work extra hard each day for that reason,” said Yearsley.

After beginning with a rough start in the season, the win on Saturday against Elms College shows Yearsley is serious about his goals and actively wants to make an impact on his new team. He decided to play basketball when he was four years old in his hometown Averill Park, NY when he was allowed to play with his brother and his friends at a basketball camp. Yearsley is striving for the best and wants to bring his skills to have a significant influence on the men’s basketball team after the previous year only finishing the season with a record of 2-22.

“I chose MCLA because they were 2-22 last year and I felt that I could make an immediate impact on the team, and program,” Yearsley said.

In addition to MCLA being his top choice, he chose MCLA because he wanted to be able to drive home and be with his family.

The final score was 77-72 with Yearsley scoring and having 12 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and one steal, which proves his dedication and love to the team and his best friend.

“My success shows how driven I am to be successful and how hard I work to be as successful as possible,” Yearsley said.

Yearsley’s dream after college is to become a sports agent for a high school or college while majoring in sports management. His favorite basketball player is Russell Westbrook because of his aggressive athleticism, and he wants to play like him every game. Yearsley’s inspiration off the court allows him to stay focused, go to class and complete all of his homework which ultimately allows him to play basketball because, “without school, there’s no basketball.”

Yearsley averages 15.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.2 assists while shooting a percentage of 90.9 percent free throws and 40 percent from the field. Just remember every time Yearsley is on the court playing basketball, he is representing more than his team but a game to honor his best friend who shows his big heart. The men’s next basketball game is at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Tuesday, Dec. 5 and following a home game against Rivier University on Thursday, Dec. 7.