Nico Mannion is on top of his game. The Pinnacle High sophomore has been named Arizona’s “Gatorade Player of the Year.” Mannion will have his pick of places to play in college. This spring he’s soaking up the accomplishment of leading Pinnacle to a state championship.
“It really came fast,” said Mannion, in a recent interview on campus at Pinnacle.
“At one point you’re just trying to make it through the playoffs. All of a sudden you win state. Then they announce Gatorade Player of the Year. I haven’t had time to soak it all in yet.”
Mannion has offers from Kansas, UCLA, Oregon, U of A and ASU Coach Bobby Hurley stayed back from a recent road trip to watch Pinnacle play a playoff game on campus at ASU.
“I try to just take it day by day. I’m not really trying to decide right now where I’m going to go, especially with everything going on in college basketball right now I’m just going to let it play out,” said Mannion.
“I’m close with Coach Hurley. I go up there sometimes. Great staff, I like the school.”
Sports Illustrated called Mannion a basketball prodigy. He’s turns 17 on St. Patrick’s Day, so the sophomore hasn’t ruled out reclassifying to enter college a year early, like Valley native Marvin Bagley who is currently staring at Duke.
“Where I level up in each class,” said Mannion.
“If it’s a better fit in 2019 I could have the opportunity to go in 2019. If it’s a better fit in 2020, I’ll stay in 2020.”
Mannion doesn’t back down from tough questions. So, we sent in Greer and Charlie McClune to try to answer to the question everyone want to know.
“Where are you going to college?” asked Charlie McClune.
“Undecided,” deadpanned Mannion.
For more from the McClune brothers click here.
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