Sports

Gonzaga secures commitment from 5-star guard

Five-star point guard Nolan Hickman announced his commitment to Gonzaga on Saturday on social media, giving Mark Few his third five-star prospect in the 2021 class.

Hickman originally committed to Kentucky last August, but decommitted from the Wildcats late last month and reopened his recruitment. He chose Gonzaga over Kansas and Auburn, although Arizona and other Pac-12 schools were also involved.

A 6-foot-2 point guard from Seattle who played at Wasatch Academy (Utah) this past season, Hickman was one of the biggest stock risers over the last year. He was terrific in 13 games at the NIBC Invitational this high school season, averaging 17.0 points and 5.5 assists, while shooting nearly 40% from 3-point range.

Hickman is ranked No. 22 overall in the ESPN 100 for 2021, slotting in as the No. 5 point guard.

ESPN’s NBA draft expert, Jonathan Givony, has Hickman projected as a first-round pick in his latest 2022 mock draft. Givony wrote that Hickman was one of the more impressive prospects at the recent Iverson Classic practices in Memphis.

“[Hickman] looked even better when surrounded by talent, quickly proving to be one of the best ball handlers and passers in attendance,” he wrote. “Always under control thanks to the unique pace he operates, Hickman is one of the more advanced pick-and-roll players in this class, stringing out his dribble, changing speeds out of hesitation moves skillfully and getting to the rim and finishing with impressive craft.”

Hickman is the third five-star commitment to Gonzaga this class, joining No. 1 prospect Chet Holmgren and guard Hunter Sallis, the No. 14-ranked player in the class.

With three starters expected to depart from the Zags’ national runner-up team, Hickman could slot immediately into the starting lineup. Andrew Nembhard and Drew Timme are currently projected to return, with Holmgren and Sallis also likely to garner starting spots.

Gonzaga is ranked No. 1 in ESPN’s latest Way-Too-Early Top 25.



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