Senior forward Bobby Ahearn, a towering 6-foot-6-inch competitor from Marshfield, Massachusetts, has been a huge asset to the Bearcats on both ends of the court for the past three seasons.
As an incoming freshman, Ahearn began his collegiate hoops career in a more reserved offensive role. He averaged just 4.7 points per game during his freshman season (2014-15) and 4.8 points during his sophomore year (2015-16).
Discontented with these numbers, Ahearn’s game took on a new identity during his junior season. Starting 24 out of 30 games, the once-cautious shooter averaged 9.7 points to go along with 4.6 rebounds per game. Ahearn shot a notable 53.9 percent from the field, making him the fifth most efficient shooter in the America East last year. In addition to his noteworthy field-goal percentage, Ahearn also cashed in on 80 percent from the free-throw line and 37 percent from 3-point range, an entirely untapped aspect of his game in previous seasons.
“I’m just trying to help the team to win,” Ahearn commented on his role change during the previous season. “Whether that’s taking a lot of threes, being a tough player and getting some twos in there … just being a well-versatile, all-around basketball player.”
During the 2016-17 season, Ahearn certainly did everything he could to help the Bearcats capture victories. On Nov. 22, 2016, Ahearn scored a career-high 27 points and 11 field goals in a match against Ave Maria. He also scored in double figures 12 times, including seven of his final 12 matches during the season. Never looking to let his teammates down, the forward averaged 24.4 minutes per game.
With the loss of former guard Marlon Beck, ‘17, BU is looking to Ahearn and his teammates to fill the void Beck left as an all-around player on both ends of the court.
“We just have to focus on ourselves individually and collectively as a team,” Ahearn said. “Going forward, just every day in practice, just be the best person you can be, be the best player you can be and try to help the team in any way possible … the season’s a marathon rather than a sprint, so we just have to make sure we take care of every day.”
While Ahearn is a major contributor on the court, he takes on big roles outside of the hardwood. This past summer, Ahearn interned with the NBA Summer League. The time spent among professionals allowed Ahearn to get a glimpse of the game at the highest level, and he seeks to bring his experience to the rest of his team. In addition, his summer internship highlighted Ahearn’s professional ambitions to make a name for himself as more than just a college basketball player.
As a senior, this coming season will be Ahearn’s last time wearing a Binghamton jersey.
“Time’s definitely flown by, that’s for sure,” Ahearn said. “Seems like yesterday we were coming out for our first practice. But I don’t want to have any regrets leaving here. I just wanna leave everything on the court. I just wanna play my hardest every possession, give my all for the team. I just don’t wanna leave regretting anything.”
The expectations for Ahearn are certainly very high this season, given his previous level of play. The forward has grown tremendously throughout his time as a part of the Binghamton men’s basketball team, and it will be exciting for fans to anticipate just how much higher he can climb over the course of the season.