“The next one is going in.”
That saying has stuck with Oswego State basketball player Quinn Carey since his AAU days when coach Mike Gillespie would constantly remind him of it during each practice and game.
“Whenever I missed a shot, he said ‘the next one is going in’ and would repeat it,” Carey said.
Although the piece of advice was regarding his shot on the court, it goes further than that. Instead, the saying applies to his entire college basketball journey.
Throughout Carey’s childhood, swimming was the primary sport among himself and his brothers. While his two older brothers became Division I swimmers, Carey turned his attention to a sport he developed a love for at his cousin’s basketball game in eighth grade.
“I was just shooting around,” Carey said. “I didn’t know how to actually shoot it. That day, my grandpa taught me how to shoot a basketball the right way and properly.”
Carey’s ability to develop an effective jump shot and a quick release led him to being recruited all over the country coming out of high school.
At each of his three stops, Carey was known for his three-point shooting. In two seasons at Roberts Wesleyan, Carey set the record for all-time career three pointers made. He continued his sharp shooting at SUNY Geneseo where he led the SUNYAC in three point shots made. This past season, Carey etched his name into the record books again as he broke Oswego State’s single season record for three pointers made.
“He’s a guy that attracts a ton of attention on the three point line,” said Oswego State head coach Jason Leone. “He’s one of the best shooters I have ever coached and one of the best in the region.”
During his time at Roberts Wesleyan, Carey shot the ball well behind the arc but never found a fit on the team.
“We were competitive in a lot of games particularly my freshman year,” Carey said. “We just couldn’t get over the hump so that was frustrating.”
That frustration led him to SUNY Geneseo following teammate Zack Panebianco who also transferred from Roberts Wesleyan. While he experienced more success on the court and helped Geneseo make the playoffs, academics fueled Carey to transfer for a third time in four years.
“I started doing some sports reporting for Geneseo’s radio station, WGSU, and I discovered I had a passion for broadcasting,” Carey said.
Ultimately, Carey transferred to Oswego State. There, he was able to find a sense of belongingness in the classroom with the opportunity to be on a winning basketball team as an added bonus.
“Academically, it was just the best fit,” Carey said. “Thankfully, the basketball aspect worked out with that.”
Although coming in as a 21-year-old-transfer senior was a concern of Carey’s, he made the transition easier by having a team-first mentality.
“One of the conversations I had with him when he was looking at Oswego was that his statistics weren’t going to be the same because we had a number of better players,” Leone said. “He came in and incorporated himself into the team’s concept while not taking as many shots.”
Carey’s teammates quickly took notice of his selflessness as they saw he was more than just a scorer.
“He was a strong leader who was vocal both on and off the court,” said teammate Allen Durutovic. “He’s someone you can talk to whenever you need something regardless of if it’s related to basketball.”
This season, Carey won more games at Oswego State than he won in the previous three seasons combined. That included the SUNYAC Championship where he shared a special moment on the final play of the game with teammate Brandan Gartland.
“I stole the ball with around eight seconds left and I see Quinn absolutely screaming for the ball,” Gartland said. “I threw it to him and I saw that he was going to throw it up in the air.”
Carey remembers the clock winding down with adrenaline running through his body.
“I threw the ball up in the air and I remember I ran right over to Brandan and my teammates,” Carey said. “I had finally done what I set out to do.”
That moment, along with Oswego State’s run to the Sweet 16, exemplified the saying that Carey holds dear to him.
“The idea that the next one is going in requires patience but I’ve learned good things will always come if you really put your mind to it,” Carey said.