When most people think of Panama City Beach, Florida, do they think of basketball? No; well, that may all change for Tech fans, now that Nate Hicks from J.R. Arnold High School will be coming to Atlanta to play for the Yellow Jackets.
Hicks talked about the events leading up to that and his whirlwind life of late. "I originally signed with Tulane but after the coaching change I decided to see if I could change schools." Hick petitioned the NCAA, was denied, appealed again and was granted his release. "Within a few days I signed with Georgia Tech." Hicks picked Tech over Florida State.
There was a combination of things that led Hicks to choose Georgia Tech. "I saw how well the players were treated on campus by the students and I got to meet most of them," said Hicks. "I saw the facilities and had dinner at Coach Hewitt's house and felt like I was getting treated like royalty." Hicks also knew that Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal were leaving early and that there was a need for some additional help in the front court. "I have an opportunity for major minutes and I know the staff can help me get better."
Hicks had fifteen offers before he originally decided on Tulane. Most of the offers were from mid-majors. "Let's face it, Panama City is a bit off the beaten path and last summer was my first playing AAU ball." Hicks did well playing against top caliber big men while playing that summer for the Atlanta Express. "I polished my skills and gained a lot of confidence," said Hicks. "I also was a bit undersized before I gained weight. Nate is now 6'10 ½ - 214 and averaged 21.5 points his senior season.
Because he signed so late, Hicks won't enroll until the fall semester. "I can't work out with the team now because of that but I'll be in the weight room which is something I'm doing at home." Look for Nate to be wearing jersey number three.
His 6'10 height has put Nate in a position to hear the usual quips from people. How's the weather up there and do you play basketball are two that he hears most often. "I don't know what to say when they ask about the weather but I usually reply that I'm a jockey." With the signing of Hicks, Tech's basketball forecast is looking a lot brighter.