An all-star, Jared Nickens impresses at Reebok Classic

Jared Nickens is planning to join two top prep stars, Dion Wiley and Romelo Trimble, at Maryland.
Jared Nickens is planning to join two top prep stars, Dion Wiley and Romelo Trimble, at Maryland. (JASON MINICK / Reebok)
Posted: July 14, 2013

Jared Nickens arrived at last year's Reebok Classic Breakout with some holes in his game and something to prove.

The 6-foot-6 swingman is playing a little looser in this year's camp, a scholastic showcase of more than 100 of the country's top high school players at Philadelphia University this week.

The difference? Having committed to Maryland in June, Nickens knows where his future lies, and he isn't out to impress the numerous college coaches in attendance at the Gallagher Athletic Center.

"I can play my game freely," he said. "I don't have to worry about losing an offer or trying to get an offer."

Nickens, a four-star recruit according to ESPN who will be a senior at the Westtown School in West Chester, considers himself a "happy kid." But his perpetual smile grows wider and his eyes brighten when he discusses the Terrapins.

Nickens made the decision to commit to Maryland on June 16 during his visit to College Park. A shoot-around at the Terps' 17,950-seat Comcast Center and a tour of the campus sealed the deal. He said he knew right away Maryland was the place for him.

"It was amazing," he said of his visit. "It felt good to get that out of the way."

Nickens joins shooting guards Dion Wiley and Romelo Trimble, the top-rated high school seniors in Maryland and Virginia, respectively, in Maryland's 2014 recruiting class.

Trimble is also attending the Reebok camp, and said he's looking forward to the Terps' running plays to get Nickens open looks.

"He can shoot and I can shoot, so whenever one of us isn't on, the other has to be on," Trimble said.

After starting his career at St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, N.J. - a powerhouse that has produced many NBA players, including Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kyrie Irving - Nickens reclassified for an extra year of eligibility and enrolled at Westtown before his junior year.

The move allowed Nickens to further develop his skills. He'd established himself as a dangerous spot-up three-point shooter, but another year at Westtown allowed him to work on handling the ball more, driving to the hoop, and creating his own shots.

"I thought I should take an extra year to work on things and improve my body and improve mentally," he said. "I'm looking forward to going back and getting better and stronger."


Contact Mike Still at mstill@philly.com. Follow on Twitter @MikeStill12.

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