Aaron Nuckles is in his third season as Lometa’s head boys basketball coach.
In his first two years, the Hornets made the playoffs both seasons, and following each postseason run a player was selected to participate in the Texas Six-Man Coaches Association All-Star Basketball Game.
This year is no different.
Coming off his most successful run after going undefeated en route to the District 28-1A, Division II championship, Nuckles is sending district MVP Eric Nichols, who will most likely call it a career following the contest.
Herald reporter Clay Whittington recently spoke with the head coach about the all-star game and his star player.
So what exactly goes into being selected for this all-star game?
It is kind of different, and it is a little confusing. It is through the Texas Six-Man Coaches Association, which like any other coaches association, you have to be a member of it first. It is only for teams that are in the six-man division to play football. So it is for 104 enrollment in high school and below. Some say it is a six-man football association, but it is basketball. Well, the association only covers those schools that play six-man football.
The coaches nominate and vote and then each predetermined district gets a pick and two alternates. Originally, he was an alternate. Then all the alternates go to the all-star coaches, and they rank the alternates statewide. Eric came out as the No. 1 alternate, so once someone didn’t show, they put him in.
This is a pretty big honor, isn’t it?
It really is. We’ve been lucky enough that in my first year, we had a point guard — Dylan Straley — go, and then last year, we had Jose Acevedo, who is more of a defensive guy. Nothing against those two, but I think Eric deserves it more than the two that have gone since I’ve been there because he has more accolades and honors. He really deserves it. We were kind of sweating it because he was originally an alternate, so I’m glad it worked out for him.
Obviously, he had a great senior season, but an ankle injury kept him from performing as usual during the playoffs. How nice is it for him to get an opportunity to go out on a better note?
It’s nice. We’ve looked around this spring, and he might have had a chance to go to a small school somewhere, but he kind of made a family decision. Was it worth chasing a dream or should he just go and get an education? He’s going to go to Blinn College in Brenham, and he’s not going to play down there, so this is going to be his last chance.
He is very deserving, but I just hope his ankles hold up. He rolled it again last week at open gym, so I told him, “You’ve got to get that thing wrapped or you’re not going to make it though a week of practice.”
That’s how those ankles go. Once it goes, they are weak. So I hope it all works out health-wise.
And he’ll be on the same team as a couple of players from Oakwood that gave you so much trouble when you faced them in the playoffs.
Yeah, that’ll be interesting. It is usually a pretty good group of kids that show up there. It will be interesting to see how it works out for him