Wasatch Academy’s Nolan Hickman named candidate for Sports Illustrated’s 2021 All-American basketball team
Sports Illustrated recently released its candidates for the 2021 SI All-American high school basketball team and Mt. Pleasant’s own Nolan Hickman found himself as the only player from Utah on the list.
The 6’2 senior point guard from Wasatch Academy announced his commitment to Kentucky in August, becoming the first player to join the Wildcats’ 2021 recruiting class and now he’s a projected All-American.
Hickman, a four star recruit, is currently averaging just shy of 14 points per game for the 8-0 Wasatch Academy basketball team.
“Hickman is a heady point guard who knows how to run a team, but doubles as a legit scoring threat from all three levels,” said Sports Illustrated’s recruiting profile on Hickman. “He’s also a tough, gritty defender who pesters the opposition all over the floor. That combination will enable him to make an immediate impact at the next level.”
The profile also went into Hickman’s poise on the floor as a guard who can run the offense, a player who has a high basketball IQ and a guard who involves his teammates while scoring at will.
As for Hickman’s commitment, he will be headed to a program well established as a powerhouse for NBA talent.
The Wildcats have turned out some of the top talent in the NBA, including Anthony Davis, John Wall, Devin Booker, Karl Anthony-Towns and more.
With six straight NCAA tournament appearances and eight NCAA Championships, the most recent coming in 2012, Hickman is headed to a program built to develop NBA level talent.
“Their ultimate pitch to me was that they wanted someone who was interested in Kentucky, someone who has been dreaming of coming to Kentucky for so long,” Hickman said in an interview with Kentucky Sports Radio. “They said they think of me as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander because of how he came up late on the scene, was high-rising. Right when they said that they really wanted me and Coach Cal showed serious interest in me, I felt like I was wanted, I was needed. It felt like the right fit for me.”
In the same interview, Hickman went on to say that he is ready for the spotlight that comes with playing at Kentucky.
Through Hickman’s experiences playing in the Nike EYBL against many of the top talents in the country, he should be ready to perform at the highest level for the Wildcats.
“I’m not just a point guard, I’m also a combo guard, I can play the one and the two,” Hickman said to Kentucky Sports Radio. “I’m a facilitator, I’m a scorer, I can pass it, I’m tall, I can play defense, I can get the ball off the glass for you, I can block a shot, I can hustle. I’m a really unique player, one of a kind in my eyes. I hope people see that when they see me for the first time.”
The Wildcats are a young team this season, with only three upperclassmen, and have had their struggles to start the year with four straight hard fought losses.
The Wildcats will no doubt benefit from Hickman, a 2021 All-American candidate, and his ability to control the pace of the game, run an offense and more.
Wasatch Academy is set to take on Salem Hills in Mt. Pleasant on Tuesday at 7 p.m.