There was more than a good chance that former CBA standout Galal Cancer could have been playing for the University at Albany basketball team this year, not Cornell.
The 6-foot-2 guard, who played his high school ball at CBA, said it came down to the two schools. And, for a time, he was leaning towards staying home and learning the college game from Will Brown.
"When I visited (UAlbany), I got close with some of their players and I liked the coaches," Cancer said after helping Cornell beat the Danes 85-82 in overtime on Saturday in Ithaca.
When asked how close he was to going to UAlbany, he smiled.
"It was high ... 75, 80, 85 percent, maybe," Cancer said. "Albany was really high on my list because I have such a great bond with my family and I enjoy being home."
After talking it over with his parents, Cancer said Cornell won out because of education. Nothing against the curriculum at UAlbany, but an Ivy League diploma looks pretty impressive on a resume.
Cancer is enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell. His parents have been to every one of the Big Red's home games; there were nine family and friends watching him score 11 points, get seven assists, five rebounds and four steals against the Danes.
For the season (Cornell played Monday night at Illinois), Cancer is averaging 5.8 points off the bench, 22.8 minutes (third most on the team), 3.0 assists and 3.3 rebounds for the 4-4 Big Red.
"It's a lot different than high school," Cancer said. "It's more intense, and the coaches have really helped me prepare for it. I knew the classes would be fairly rough, and it's nothing that I didn't expect."