Sure, the 6-7, 225-pound Detroit Pershing (Mich.) junior forward played his share of pickup on local courts, but he never took it seriously until a growth spurt in the eighth grade put him at nearly 6-5.
``I had no idea what this sport had in store for me," said Sims, who nearly everyone calls Peedi (a nickname given to him by his grandmother). "It was education first. My life wasn't going to be about sports."
Now that's changed.
Sims averaged 15 points and 10 boards a year ago and the versatile Detroit native is just scratching the surface of his potential.
``I don't think I'm anywhere near where I should be – or can be," Sims said. "I'm not even close, but I do have some things."
``With his height, he really has a nice touch from the outside," Pershing assistant coach Arthur Canada said. "At the next level, he'll be on the wing."
The 16-year-old Sims, a 3.0 student, has ambitions if he doesn't make the NBA down the road. He'd like to be an English teacher.
Sims said there will be a bevy of factors that go into his decision-making process when choosing a school. Location, coaching staff, tradition, players and education will all be important.
``I don't want to go too far from home," he said.
However, one school that isn't exactly in his backyard has made quite an early impression.
``I really like Syracuse," Sims said. "Coach (Jim) Boeheim is a great coach and a great guy. It's not too far from home and I love the Big East conference."
Other than the Orangemen, Sims also mentioned Michigan, Michigan State, UConn, Kentucky, Memphis and Oregon. Canada added that Florida, Illinois, Arizona, Clemson and Georgia Tech have also expressed interest.