Senior forward Evan Battey may have played his final game in Boulder, but the effect he left on this town and its people will last a lifetime.
Battey began his career in Boulder as a member of the 2017 recruiting class, which included multiple Buffs stars, including McKinley Wright IV and Tyler Bey. He is the 38th all time Buffalo to score at least 1,000 points in his career.
Battey’s passion and love for the school have earned him the title of “The Mayor”. Battey is not just a fan favorite for his play, but team manager CJ Armitage argues that his personality and kind heart is what made him such a beloved player.
“Evan is a fan favorite because of who he is,” said Armitage. “He respects everyone and appreciates everyone that supports him. He loves to bring energy and passion. He’s the mayor.”
Battey’s career will leave a strong legacy as a fan favorite, but the lasting effects he will have on his teammates and coaches will make a far more significant impact.
“He is a great competitor who will do whatever it takes to win,” said Armitage. “But even more than his play on the court, he’s a very special person who cares about his teammates, his coaches, all the managers, everyone. He has taught me how important the relationships you form are.”
On Instagram, Battey expressed his interest in taking a different position at Colorado in the future. He posted a collection of photos at the CU Events Center, captioning the post, “Forever my home, I’ll come back…someday. I love you all”.
Over the years, Battey’s play on the court has imprinted memories in the minds of Buffs fans nationwide. A few Ralphie Report writers shared their favorites with us.
I had the opportunity to attend the Arizona upset this season, and Battey made me fall in love with this school all over again. When Battey was introduced in the starting lineup, I was amazed. I had never seen a school or professional team who had such a personal connection to one player. Watching Battey drain threes and hearing the uproar of the crowd gave me chills. However, my absolute favorite memory was at the end of the game when the entire stadium knew that a huge upset was about to take place. Evan stood at the end of the court near the student section, looked at all the students, and motioned for them to rush the court. The smile I saw on his face when the buzzer went off and the crowd ran to his side proved to me that this school means everything to him. I truly hope he comes back to Boulder to take a coaching position, because I can’t imagine another player meaning as much to this school anytime soon.
Sometimes it’s difficult to start writing because there’s so much you want to say and you have no idea where to start. It’s no exaggeration that Evan Battey be the most wholesome and uplifting person I have ever met. He’s a beam of light that warms everyone around him. He seems to understand his impact and fully embrace it, like he’s exactly the person he was meant to become. He has this way of expressing himself that feels so human that it’s impossible not to feel his emotions. You feel it in times of gratitude, like when CU fans gave him a standing ovation when he was the only person on the court shooting free throws in the NIT. You feel it in times of grief, like when he was embracing Stanford players after accidentally injuring Oscar da Silva. You feel it in the everyday, when he looks so happy to be on campus and in town, as if he’s the mayor of the place. Oh, and he happens to be a damn good basketball player whose leadership, skill and unselfish play helped CU to 88 wins in four seasons.
Evan Battey is a personification of the romance of college athletics. With money becoming a more obvious part of any roster in college basketball (rightfully so, IMO, those players have earned it), it’s easier to become jaded and treat the sport the same way you treat professional basketball. It’s easy to dissect lineups and look at Kenpom and watch matchups, and all of that stuff is fun. But Battey is a reminder that these are people that play this game, and people are really great sometimes. I’ve never seen a player so HUMAN on the court, displaying all of his emotion so easily and using it to lift others up. I’ve never seen a player so obviously in love with his school and his team. I’ve never seen a player represent a college so completely. Evan Battey is why you love college sports. He is a 24/7 30-for-30 that makes you want to cry when he finally leaves the court (and I bawled). Who cares about the stats and the wins? I know that Evan Battey made me proud to be a Colorado Buffalo.