BOZICH | Mack's first U of L high school recruit compared to Buddy Hield by AAU coach
Josh Nickelberry, a Class of 2019 shooting guard from North Carolina, became the first high school player to commit to new Louisville coach Chris Mack.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Chris Williams, coach of the Game Elite Gold AAU team in Atlanta, confirmed an ESPN report Thursday night that junior guard Josh Nickelberry has committed to the University of Louisville for 2019.
“It is confirmed and accurate,” Williams said.
Then Williams added one extra nugget about his player: When I asked him to compare Nickelberry’s game to a recent college player, Williams did not hesitate:
“Buddy Hield,” said Williams, who has coached Nickelberry for three years.
The former Oklahoma star who was named the national player of the year while leading the Sooners to the Final Four two seasons ago?
“Yes,” Williams said. “Josh is one of the top five shooters in the 2019 class. He’s a 6-4, 6-5 shooter who can get his shot off against anybody. He’s got a 3.5 or 3.6 grade point average. He’s got the whole package.”
Williams said Nickelberry had scholarship offers from more than 40 schools but was recruited hardest by Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn, North Carolina, Missouri, Virginia Tech and Louisville.”
Nickelberry is the first commitment from a high school player by new U of L coach Chris Mack, although he still has a final high school season to play at Northwood Temple Academy in Fayetteville, N.C. Williams said that Nickelberry drives five hours one way many weekends to Atlanta to practice and play with his AAU squad.
Nickelberry is an AAU teammate of point guard Aston Hagans, who committed to Kentucky in April. Williams said seven other members of the Game Elite Gold squad are likely to sign Division I scholarships.
“Josh took an unofficial visit up there several weeks ago and really loved it,” Williams said. “He loved the atmosphere, the coaching staff, the passion for basketball and the (KFC) Yum! Center.
“Louisville got a good one. He’s a gym rat. He wants to get better every day.”
Nickelberry is ranked 42nd nationally in the 2019 class by ESPN, No. 55 by Scout and No. 64 by Rivals.
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