The recruitment process wore on Jared Nickens quickly, so much so that the 6-foot-6 swingman considered just ending everything with an early commitment. With official visits just around the corner, however, Nickens is enjoying things more, even though he says he’s “not close to making a decision.”
During a telephone interview Wednesday morning, one day before Westtown School in Pennsylvania lets out for the summer, Nickens said he’s gearing up for three more official visits this month. He already knocked out Oregon State. Next up is Maryland.
“Just looking, hopefully I enjoy myself, see if it’s a good fit for me,” Nickens said. “I speak to Coach Turgeon often, and we talk about how I fit in and how he interacts with his players and stuff like that. I’m pretty sure I’ll learn more.”
His Oregon State visit, like most officials taken, was rigidly structured, each meal and meeting scheduled, though Nickens draws the most value from hanging out with players.
“Yeah, just how to interact with each other and the lives they live,” he said. “A little bit, not too much. They don’t want to just put the pressure on me, but they put the bug in my ear a little bit.”
Playing this summer for Sports U, a highly ranked AAU team, Nickens has also received ample opportunities to chat with fellow recruits, many of whom are experiencing similar visits as Nickens. This weekend, he’s going to Las Vegas for the Under Armour all-star game, where he will play for the 17U East team alongside fellow Maryland target Donte Grantham, another wing from DC Assault.
Last weekend, Nickens competed in the Mary Kline Classic, where he opposed another top Terps recruit in Dion Wiley. Though they were on opposite teams, Nickens said he chatted with the Team Takeover guard in the locker room afterwards, where they caught up about Maryland.
“I told him my visit was June 14, he said he was probably taking his a little earlier,” Nickens said. “He just said he likes it, how far it is from his house. That was really it.”
As for other visits, Nickens confirmed that he’ll spend June’s remaining Fridays in College Park, Wake Forest (June 21) and Dayton (June 28). He also holds high-major offers from Miami, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Penn State, according to 247sports.com. On the court, his emphasis is on ballhandling, creating his own shot off the dribble. “Just getting to the basket,” he said. “Stuff like that.”