No one has to remind Josh Nickelberry of how things were going for him around this time last year.
In fact, he’d be the first to tell you he recalls all too well.
I’m blessed to have the offers that I do,” Nickelberry told MemphiSport during an interview from Fayetteville, North Carolina. “I remember last year around this time, I was barely known, so the offers show that all my hard work is paying off and I’m on the right path.”
Fortunately for Nickelberry, a rising sophomore shooting guard for Northwood Temple Academy in Fayetteville, North Carolina, he was the beneficiary recently of another remarkable honor, one that was a testament of his overall body of work in recent months.
Rated as the No. 1 shooting guard in North Carolina for the Class of 2019, Nickelberry has been invited to a USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Minicamp.
The four-day event, which will feature the top players in the classes of 2019 and 2020, will be held October 7-10 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and it will help determine the rosters for the upcoming FIBA Americas Tournament and future Hoop Summit games.
“I’m very excited,” Nickelberry said of his latest accolade. “It’s an honor to have an opportunity to represent my country.”
Not only that, Nickelberry’s latest milestone undoubtedly will expand what is already a pretty attractive list of scholarship offers for the 6-foot-5 standout, who boasts immense athleticism in large part because of his remarkable leaping ability. .
With three full seasons of prep basketball ahead of him, Nickelberry has already garnered official offers from Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Providence, Baylor, VCU, Penn State and Howard.
He spent last season playing at Northwood Temple Academy before ultimately transferring to Trinity Christian, where he’s been nothing short of impression.
When word spread of Nickelberry’s invite to next month’s minicamp, no one was as thrilled as Gerald Nickelberry, Josh’s father and arguably his grandest supporter.
A native of Memphis, Gerald Nickelberry is a former football standout at perennial power Melrose.
“It was obviously exciting and humbling,” Gerald Nickelberry said his son’s latest achievement. “It is quite an accomplishment, but at the same time, it is validation that with a strong faith in God, coupled with hard work, anything is possible and achievable. We are proud of Josh. He has embraced this opportunity and he is focused. His time in the gym training and preparing reflects that.”
In addition, his stellar work ethic and steadfast desire to progress has boost his recruiting stick mightily, according to various recruiting experts, many of whom has listed Josh Nickelberry amongst the Top 60 players in the country for the Class of 2019.
This season at Trinity Christian, he will team up with fellow rising sophomore, 6-foot-7 Joey Baker, another highly-recruited standout who has been ranked amongst the ESPN’s Top 25 players nationally for the class of 2019 during rankings that were released in mid-August.
Amongst the reasons that Josh Nickelberry’s stock had risen is that he appeared in the prestigious Super Sophomore Camp in Atlanta, where he led the entire camp in scoring, as well as in six other major categories.
In addition, he was as good as advertised on the AAU circuit, where he averaged better than 25 points per game this summer for Team Loaded of North Carolina.
“These paths couple months, I’ve just been recovering from the summer but maintaining my strength and skills,” Josh Nickelberry said. “I’ve been working very hard trying to get ready for the upcoming season and the USA minicamp.”
What a difference a year has made.
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Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.