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.
Arizona point guard Nico Mannion declares for NBA Draft
By ADAM ZAGORIA
Arizona freshman point guard Nico Mannion has declared for the NBA Draft, he announced on social media.
He is ranked the No. 14 prospect in the ESPN Top 100 and is among the top point guards in what is expected to be a point guard-heavy draft.
The 6-foot-3 Mannion averaged 14 points and 5.3 assists per game for the Wildcats this season and was named to the All-Pac-12 second team.
Born in Siena, Italy, Mannion has experience playing with the Italian Senior National Team, which should help him at the next level.
“My international experience will be a big plus,” Mannion told ESPN. “Having played international ball at the U16s and against pros with the men’s team. I think I proved that I belonged at the Hoop Summit, that I’m one of the best pure point guards in this draft. People saw prior to college that I can really shoot the ball, even if I didn’t shoot as well as I can this season at Arizona.”
He told ESPN he’s currently working out at a private gym in Arizona while awaiting word on the NBA Draft.
“I’m just trying to stay positive right now handling what’s going on worldwide with the virus with my preparations for the draft,” Mannion told ESPN. “It’s hard because you don’t have a specific day or workout to look forward to. It could be one, two, three months or more, who knows? Our state is on lockdown, but I am really lucky to have access to a gym near my house where I can lift and shoot. No one uses the facility except me. I’m just getting reps every day trying to perfect what I can perfect on and off the court, be it passing, ball-handling or ball-screen drills, and trying to get stronger. I’m working on extending my range. This time off gives us me an opportunity to get better. That’s where I have a little bit of an advantage. I’m watching a lot of film on Steve Nash and Chris Paul. How they use ball screens to get in the lane and finish with floaters.”
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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.