Nankivil's Recruitment is Winding Down

As the summer comes to a close, Nankivil is likely to hold a press conference to announce his college decision. There will be a handful of coaches from the schools that recruited him the hardest holding their breath, and they are likely to be joined by thousands of Marquette and Wisconsin basketball fans waiting to hear where this year's prize recruit will be headed.

Keaton Nankivil joins a long list of players from the state of Wisconsin that have been thrown into the recruiting wars between Marquette and Wisconsin. In recent years, the two schools have battled it out for players like Mike Wilkinson, Steve Novak, Devin Harris, Travis Diener, Brian Butch, Wesley Matthews and Marcus Landry.

As Nankivil's recruitment winds down, Marquette and Wisconsin are still standing front and center, but Boston College, Virginia and Miami are still listed by the big man from Madison Memorial. Originally, Keaton wanted to take some visits to these schools in the fall, but that is changing as the summer moves on, "I really wanted to wait until fall to take some visits, but now things are winding down I have been thinking about it a lot more and there's not that much time left. I want to narrow it down to 3-5 schools and make a decision before the fall, late July or early August."

When it comes to selecting a school, Nankivil knows what he is looking for, but is having a tough time with a decision. "The two biggest things that I am looking for are comfort and winning. I want to be comfortable in the school, the community and with the team. When it comes to winning, every school's goal is to win a national championship. I don't know how realistic it is for every school in terms of players or conferences, but that's everybody's goal, and I want to go where that goal can be accomplished."

The summer has kept Nankivil busy, playing AAU basketball with the Fox Valley Skillz, but he has also attended two prestigious invitation camps with the NBA camp and Nike camp. While it is an honor to compete in these camps, Keaton explains the difference. "The camps are a lot of fun. I think the NBA camp really helped me a lot. Overall the shoe camps don't really put an offense in, so it's geared a lot more towards guards, not purposely, but that's how it ends up. Guards bring the ball in, take it down court and try to score. The difference at NBA camp is that they really stress the screen and roll, big men getting the ball, that kind of stuff, and there's no college coaches there so people are more willing to be unselfish."

Nankivil has been playing AAU ball for Coach Ritchie Davis and the Fox Valley Skillz since grade school, and has high hopes for the team this summer. "Now with the addition of another good rebounding, shot blocking big man with a scoring threat (Cole Aldrich) and the way Coach Davis has us run our offense with the high low, add that in with the shooters that we're going to have on the wings are going to help us out a lot so I think we can really do some damage in some of the major tournaments."

Over the summer the highly regarded 6'9 big man knows what he needs to work on to improve. "I am working on being able to get my shots off without having to rely on somebody all the time. Before I was always posting up and relying on the guards to get it in, I want to be able to create my own shot or get a look if I need to get a look. Until I develop that, I'm not a reliable go to guy at the end of a game or when the shot clock is winding down. Now I feel I'm pretty one dimensional, but when I can bring that together, I will be more of a complete player."

There is a lot more to Nankivil than just basketball. Keaton excels in the classroom at Madison Memorial High School with a GPA of just under 4.0. When he's not playing basketball, you won't hear him making too much noise. "I'm pretty shy. It might sound odd, but I don't really like to meet new people. I stay close to the friends I have and really try not to expand much. I stick with guys that I know aren't going to messing up. There's people that have been around my school, people like Wesley Matthews, people I played with in high school that I know I can trust to be with and not get into trouble, and that's important to me. We like to hang out, go to the pool, hang out and play video games, any of that kind of stuff. I don't really like to go out to parties or things like that, just basic stuff."

As the summer comes to a close, Nankivil is likely to hold a press conference to announce his college decision. There will be a handful of coaches from the schools that recruited him the hardest holding their breath, and they are likely to be joined by thousands of Marquette and Wisconsin basketball fans waiting to hear where this year's prize recruit will be headed. Wherever that may be, Nankivil will have a bright future both on the court and in the classroom.

Note: Nankivil did ‘tweak' his knee while playing at the Nike camp and did not participate with the Skillz in Louisville this week so he could receive treatment at home in Madison. He is expected to re-join the Fox Valley Skillz in Las Vegas.


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