SOMERS, N.Y. – Somers High School boys’ basketball star John Decker is The Somers Daily Voice Athlete of the Month for January.
Decker led Somers (10-3) on a nine-game winning streak earlier this season. The senior was a scoring machine in January and posted totals of 22, 44, 20, 38, 17 and 24 points in the month.
Moreover, Decker and new head coach Chris DiCintio have put Somers on the map in Section 1.
“It really all starts with the new coaches,” Decker said. “They’ve brought a new mindset to the team that we can win and Somers can be looked as a basketball program.”
Decker was an extremely pleasant surprise at quarterback for the Somers football team in the fall. His experiences on the football field have paid dividends on the basketball court this season.
“I think it helped with confidence,” Decker said. “Stefano (Bicknese) is on the (basketball) team. We try to bring that winning attitude to the team and I think it helps to bring over that game.”
DiCintio credited Tuskers' football coach Tony Dematteo for Decker’s development.
“Anybody that plays for Coach Dematteo understands the importance of preparation and being a team player,” DiCintio said. “He’s a legendary coach for more than just wins. He knows how to relate to kids.”
DiCintio is in his first year at the helm at Somers after he coached at Rye. He knew what he had in Decker the first time he heard the senior open his mouth in a team meeting.
“His exact words were ‘Guys, everybody be quiet. Listen to coach,’ ” DiCintio said. “He’s a tremendous leader. His leadership skill on the court is really second to none in all my years of coaching and I've been coaching 15-plus years of high school basketball.”
Decker has been the leading scorer for Somers this season, but he also has found a balance and knows when to distribute to other players, such as Conor Cousin. With that level of teamwork, Decker has one goal in mind for the Tuskers.
“Our goal is to win the gold ball,” Decker said. “ We've obviously had a great season, but our goal is to win the gold ball.”