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Posted On: 05/29/18 1:46 PM
One of the “surprises” at The Hoop Memorial Day Classic was undoubtedly Riley Nichol. The rock-solid 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward from Stayton put in a solid effort at the tournament this past weekend with his Nike Team Northwest Team Swoosh squad, helping them win the Silver Championship with a 87-79 win over Team Fly Williams.
Nike Team Northwest Team Swoosh is largely known for their perimeter players, but Nichol impressed with his work as a big man. He attracts attention based on his size and frame alone, but during the tournament he played hard, battled for rebounds, and showed a nice face-up jumper when open. AAU basketball has been a good experience for the big man from a smaller town.
“It’s definitely different than high school but I’m enjoying it,” Nichol said. “I feel like I’m doing ok but I always could do better. I’m just working on being more aggressive and working on my shot.”
Playing on a Nike-sponsored team has given Nichol the opportunity to play in front of many college coaches. While his recruitment is currently quiet, he is just hoping to get noticed in the next few months. “Anywhere I can play college basketball,” Nichol said. “Honestly I just want to go where everyone is included on the team, from the top player to the last guy (on the bench).”
In the meantime, Nichol will continue plugging away, in June for Stayton and in July back with Team Nike Northwest. “I working on getting bigger and keep on working on my shot,” Nichol said. “I think our team has some momentum going into the summer. We’re going to be a good team.”
Nichol currently ranks as the #72 player in the PrepHoops Oregon Class of 2019 rankings.