By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
Counselors agree that high school students do not spend enough time thinking about their futures, preparing for life after high school and seldom start researching colleges early enough.
Tre' Nichols gave up football, baseball, soccer and other sports to pursue his basketball potential because basketball, he thought, was his best way into college. Starting when he was a freshman, colleges started looking into him, and now, before he begins his senior year as a Kangaroo in the fall, Nichols' plans for college are all but dotted and crossed.
Nichols sorted through college scouts and recruitment letters and decided he would play college basketball for Texas State last week. After visiting the San Marcos campus, talking with the Bobcat coaches and playing with some of the basketball team members during an open-gym, pick-up game, Nichols verbally committed and will officially seal the deal when the next signing period begins in November.
"Everybody is asking me why I committed so early," Nichols said. "They say that I could've gone to a bigger school. But I would rather go where I can play and be comfortable."
Nichols received a letter from Texas Tech as a freshman and then saw interest from Baylor, Stanford and Rice as a sophomore. Last year, Nichols attracted Wichita State, SMU, Oral Roberts, Kansas, Cornell, Houston, Oklahoma and a variety of smaller schools. In the end, Nichols wanted to stay close to home and the Texas State coaches impressed him the most.
"They were straight-up with me and that's important in the recruiting process," Nichols said. "When I went and visited the campus, everything they told me before was exactly true."
Texas State plays the same up-tempo style that the Runnin' Roos are known for and a style of play that Nichols feels the most comfortable with, he added.
Nichols knows that his verbal commitment will not deter other schools from scouting and trying to recruit him this season, but, it seems, he's happy with his decision, though the scouts' pressence next season will no doubt be welcomed.
"They'll still be looking because its a business," Nichols said. "Whenever scouts are in the seats, it always gives me a reason to step up and play harder ... be more of a leader to show them the stuff they came to see."
As a junior, Nichols, a Texas Association of Basketball Coaches all-state selection, averaged more than 20 points a game and more than four steals and four assist and, along with then-seniors Chris Saunders and D'Andre Jennings, led the Roos to a 30-3 season and their second consecutive undefeated district campaign and outright district title. The Roos lost in the second round of the playoffs for the second straight year after receiving a first-round bye.
With one year left in his high school career, Nichols does not want to settle for just the pride of another regular-season accolade, he wants to do something that hasn't been done since he was a freshman on the Runnin' Roos varsity – win a playoff game.
"It's the last year I've got, I'm going to go all out," Nichols said. "It only comes once in my life."
Contact Kevin Posival at email@example.com or (254) 501-7562.