However, the 6-foot-9 ½, 220-pound forward, who will re-do his junior year at NMH this season, said that the opportunity to play with Mo Vasquez' Metro Boston AAU squad helped ease the adjustment.
Van Nest is a face-up power forward who fared well at the Eastern Invitational in July, earning all-star game honors. He needs to get stronger and judging to his work ethic since he arrived, it'll likely happen.
``He's 6-9 with a high basketball IQ and is a very good shooter," NMH associate head coach John Carroll said. "He sees the floor extremely well and is an elite passer for someone his size. He has range out to 22 feet and is a lot like Joe Wolfinger (now at Washington). He's just a couple inches shorter."
Van Nest has put up 450 shots each day.
Weston High is hardly a basketball powerhouse. In fact, the town's claim to fame is that it's regarded as one of the wealthier communities in the state.
One of the reasons Van Nest left prior to his senior season was because of the lack of size on his team – and the lack of competition in the area.
``They stuck me on the block," he said. "I was getting criticized for stepping out and that's one of my biggest strengths."
Van Nest said that some of the local schools – Boston University and Northeastern – expressed interest while he was at Weston. He said that the former staff at Northeastern, which is now at Duquesne, has offered him a scholarship – and that Richmond, American, Fordham and Stony Brook are also expressing interest.
Van Nest, who has a 3.2 GPA and scored an 1150 on the SAT, said that one school would be a dream.
``Georgetown," he said. "I feel like I can play there."