2019 UNC Recruit Intro: Josh Nickelberry

Although his Fayetteville (N.C.) Northwood Temple squad came up short in the independent school state playoffs, Josh Nickelberry accomplished a great deal in his freshman season at the high school level.

A 6-3 guard, Josh Nickelberry compiled strong numbers and has emerged as one of the most gifted 2019 prospects within the state of North Carolina.

“The high school season was good, I averaged 15 points, “ Nickelberry said. “We lost in the Final Four (to Cape Fear Christian) but had a good year.”

Nickelberry hasn’t been content to rest on his 2015-16 accomplishments. He competed at both the Phenom Hoop Report Top 80 and the Super 60 Showdown the past two weekends, determined to further establish himself as a major conference prospect.

A slender 6-3 who’s young for his class, Nickelberry currently is a wing but possesses the ballhandling ability to transition into a 2/1 combo, and he shoots the ball well enough to play as a scoring lead guard or off the ball.

“I mostly play shooting guard right now but can do both,” Nickelberry said. “I’m working hard to try to improve my point guard skills and expand my game.”

His obvious talent and potential have attracted various regional coaching staffs, albeit at this very early juncture he doesn’t yet possess scholarship offers. He has made an unofficial trip to Chapel Hill, however, and is someone the Tar Heels are well aware of as the travel season — and live evaluation period — approaches.

“The last time I was up at UNC was Late Night with Roy,” Nickelberry said. “It’s obviously a great program and I got a letter from them this season, but things are just getting started in recruiting.”

His bloodlines certainly suggest promise. Gerald Nickelberry, Josh’s father, was a star linebacker at Northern Illinois in the early 1990s. But his son opted to focus on basketball and by all accounts is very dedicated to his craft.

Nickelberry’s next step will be to suit up with the Team Loaded 15-under aggregation. Loaded is an Adidas circuit organization and also will feature (on an older team) 2017 Tar Heel pledge Rechon Black and offered sophomore Jairus Hamilton. Thus, despite their obvious Nike ties, the Heels’ coaches will be highly visible on the Adidas circuit in April and July.

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