Eric Nichols finished his high school basketball career in style.
The 2014 graduate of Lometa High School was a participant in Saturday’s Texas 6-Man Coach’s Association All-Star Basketball Game in Wichita Falls.
“It was really like a summary of Eric’s career with us,” said Aaron Nuckles, Lometa’s head coach. “He played hard, he rebounded well, played really strong defense and got others the ball.”
Nichols came off the bench for the Red Team and ended with three steals, two blocks, five rebounds and a team-high five assists.
While the Red Team didn’t win, Nichols said he enjoyed the overall experience.
“Playing with a bunch of different athletes that I didn’t know was a good experience,” he said. “The only problem was that since this was an all-star game, everyone seemed to want to score as many points as they could rather than pass.”
“I think Eric only took one shot,” Nuckles said. “He wanted to keep moving the ball around until the team had a good shot. Other than the fact that Eric wasn’t one of the leading scorers, it was a typical Eric Nichols game.”
Nichols led Lometa into the second round of the 2014 postseason.
“Eric was our emotional leader,” Nuckles said. “He was really good at making sure all our kids worked hard, that our kids got in the weight room.”
Nichols led Lometa in scoring with 16.5 points per game and averaged six boards per contest.
“Eric did a little bit of everything for us,” Nuckles said. “He’ll be very hard for us to replace.”
Nichols will attend Blinn College in the fall.
“My goal is to become an athletic trainer and a coach,” he said.
Nichols said Nuckles was “a great” coach.
“He was one of the greatest coaches I’ve ever had,” Nichols said. “He respected all his players. He wanted your input. He thought about the players more than himself. That’s why I loved playing for Coach Nuckles. I want to thank him and I wish him the best of luck.”
Contact Allan Mandell at email@example.com or 254-501-7566 and read his column at KDHPressbox.com