Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Nickens’ Stock Taking Off as Sports U Wins Pitt Jam Fest
This is the time of year when a player’s stock can take off right in front of the eyes of college coaches.
Jared Nickens of Sports U was such an example this weekend at the Pitt Jam Fest.
The 6-foot-6, 180-pound 2014 wing scored 12 points in the final as Sports U won the 17U Platinum championship for the second straight season, beating DC Assault, 48-45, in the final.
On Saturday, he hit a game-winning 3-pointer against Team Loaded (Va.).
“It feels great to win two years in a row,” Nickens, who plays at Westtown (Pa.), told SNY.tv. “We beat a very good team.”
Nickens said he currently holds offers from Oregon State, Temple, Providence, St. Joe’s, Seton Hall and VCU, but that list could change in the coming days.
“He became a superstar this weekend,” Sports U coach Brian Coleman told SNY.tv.
“He was great. Not only was he great on the court, he was great in the huddles, played great defense, talking on the floor, showing leadership.”
Coleman said Nickens — who said he plans to remain in the Class of 2014 after reclassifying from 2013 — is more like a two guard now than a small forward.
“I think now he’s expanded his game from being more than just a shooter,” Coleman said. “He put it on the floor, attacks the rim, has that athleticism. People never saw it before.
“He’s showing the can put the ball on the floor. He’s becoming more of a two than a three. Before he was more of a shooter.”
“I’ve been handling the ball now, doing more things, defending, passing, rebounding, getting to the foul line.”
Coleman said St. Anthony and Sports U point guard Tarin Smith was also key to the win after scoring 15 points in the final.
“He was spectacular,” he said. “He played well, got key buckets. ran the team, made some great baskets. He played good defense on some high-major guards.
Coleman said Old Dominion, UMass and Holy Cross were among those who offered Smith.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.