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Evan Battey enjoying final ride with CU Buffs

Colorado senior Evan Battey has left his mark on the Buffaloes' men's basketball program.

BOULDER, Colo. — Evan Battey went out like few seniors have in college basketball.

How about upsetting No. 2 ranked Arizona on your home floor on Senior Day? No too shabby. A couple days after that historic night, Battey talked about what it’s been like to walk around campus.

"It’s kind of funny, walking around seeing people say hi to you and congratulating you on the good game the other night," he said in an interview with 9NEWS.

When walking around campus with Battey, he reflected on what he loves most about his daily walks.

"The Flatirons, looking at the Flatirons from any part of the campus," he said. "It’s a beautiful view. And really, the people. That’s one of the reasons why I committed here -- it was the people."

After CU’s big win over arch-rival Arizona, every senior got to address the crowd.

Before it was Battey’s turn, head coach Tad Boyle told the fans in attendance to look up at the jumbotron for a special tribute video. It was a compilation of comments from the three other seniors of Boyle’s special 2017 recruiting class: McKinley Wright, Tyler Bey and D’Shawn Schwartz.

RELATED: CU basketball takes down No. 2 Arizona in huge upset

Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski
Colorado forward Evan Battey reacts after scoring a basket against Arizona during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, in Boulder, Colo.

"It was kind of emotional because it’s more than just basketball with those guys," he said. "It’s like life or death. I was struggling from battling back from my recovery from my stroke during those times we were in the dorms. They are really held close to my heart and what they allowed me to do in terms of like speaking and in terms of laughing with them in terms of them not making me feel bad about my speech impediment. It meant the world to me."

Battey joined the three former Buffs when he became the fourth member of the group to score 1,000 points in Colorado’s conference-opener against Stanford in late November.

Coach Boyle has said Battey’s story will be told at CU for a long time. He has applauded Battey’s selflessness so that begs the question: Where did Battey learn selflessness?

"In my time that I didn’t play my senior year in high school that I was ineligible for, I had to be a coach," he said. "That was a lesson well-learned for me just really getting outside of myself and radiating that positive energy towards others."

The best moment from the Senior Night celebrations was when Battey addressed the crowd and told all of Buff Nation that his dream is to one day be the head coach in Boulder.

"I’ve always had that idea in the back of my head since I signed here but it really came into like a strong dream probably last year," he said. 

So what would coach Battey look like on the sidelines? 

"He’s probably going to be really grateful," Battey said with a smile. "He’ll be really historical about this program and he’ll really try and show the history behind this program."

RELATED: My life after a stroke: The Evan Battey story

Credit: AP
Colorado forward Evan Battey (21) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

During his time with Colorado, Battey has acclaimed the nickname the 'Mayor of Boulder.' He talked about what the name means to him.

"First and foremost, the first mayor was Mister [Spencer] Dinwiddie. He was the Mayor. I don’t really like the nickname because its his nickname. There’s always gonna be another mayor after the first one. Mayors have their terms and they end their terms."

Battey went down memory lane thinking about how he would grade his mayoral term.

"I’ve had a wonderful time here," he said. "The highs, the lows, the cheers, the laughter. I wouldn’t trade it for the world."

Colorado’s forever big man will be remembered for years to come for what he did on the court as well as off. His Boulder legacy, he says, is about change.

"The culture. The culture change," he said. "We can’t hand it over to the timid and the weak. It takes a special person to be a Buff."

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