Jim Hawkins/Inside Carolina

Josh Nickelberry Reacts to UNC Basketball Offer

Fayetteville (N.C.) Trinity Christian combo guard is the third class of 2019 prospect to receive a North Carolina offer.

Wendell Moore and Matthew Hurt have some company. On Friday, Josh Nickelberry joined the duo as members of the sophomore class with UNC scholarship offers.

A 6-3 guard from Fayetteville (N.C.) Trinity Christian, Nickelberry discussed the offer with Inside Carolina shortly after receiving it on Friday.

Did you see the Carolina offer coming so soon?

When I was at the UNC-Tennessee game (on Dec. 11) - you know Coby White is committed there - he (Roy Williams) called me to his office and told me we're probably going to offer you a scholarship. But he said he's the type of coach who likes to see kids play before he offers, so he said he would come see me when I played Coby. He came last night. They beat us by three, but I had 21 and I had some good plays. He called my head coach and told him he needed to talk to me. When he got on the phone, he said 'I've gotten to know you over the past two years and you're a great kid. I love the way you play and I want to formally offer you a scholarship.'

What was your initial reaction when you found out you had an offer?

I was hype on the inside, but I tried to stay calm on the phone with him. I was happy. I called my dad afterward and we started screaming on the phone and stuff. It was crazy.

What's your relationship like with the UNC staff?

Most of it is with (assistant coach C.B.) McGrath. I talk to him all the time. When I go up there a lot of the fans remember my face. I've signed autographs and stuff like that. I'm comfortable when I go up there. I know most of the commits. I'm about to be up there a lot, though, going to all these games. It's going to get better and better.

Which UNC commitments do you know the best?

Probably Brandon Huffman and Rechon Black, I played with both of them. Brandon talks about Carolina a lot, because he wanted me to go to Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God with him this year, but I couldn't. Every time I see him at Carolina, he's like 'yo, you know you're about to be with me at Carolina, right?' Now that I have the offer, I'm going to be hearing it even more often from Brandon and Leaky.

What do you know about the North Carolina program?

They put great players in the league. The atmosphere is crazy at the Dean Dome, they have fans everywhere and their players and commits get treated right.

What about your game does the UNC staff like?

They like how I compete on defense and offense. They really like the way I score on offense; I can score on all three levels. I'm a different person on and off the court, and they told me they liked that too. They like my mentality. They see me as a combo guard. I showed them both positions last night, the point guard and the '2.' When my team needed me to score, I scored. When they needed me to facilitate, that's what I did. That's what I train for, to be a combo guard. I'm an aggressive guard, I play defense hard and I like rebounding. I hate losing.

How does this offer impact your recruitment?

I think it's about to explode now. A lot of my offers were coming from nowhere, but I think that now that Carolina as a powerhouse has offered, I think it's about to jump off now. I know I'm going to take all my (official) visits. I'm not saying I'm going to commit on real late on National Signing Day, but I know i'm going to take all my visits. 



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