UCONN Takes Early Look At NJ Forward

A profile look at a New Jersey forward who lists Connecticut ...

You might call Ahmad Nivins a late bloomer, but the developing 6-9, 215-pound power forward/center from St. Anthony's H.S. in Jersey City, N.J., has a number of high majors looking at him heading into the July evaluation period.

Nivins said that he has scholarship offers from Seton Hall, St. John's and St. Joseph's. Others expressing interest include Indiana, Clemson, Florida State, Maryland and Connecticut.

That's quite a list for a player that many hadn't heard of prior to his transfer to St. Anthony's last year. He averaged five points, seven rebounds and four blocks for the state champion Friars in 2003-2004.

Prior to St. Anthony's, Nivins attended Hudson Prep, where the caliber of basketball wasn't nearly on the level that he experienced as a junior for Bob Hurley's juggernaut.

"Everyday it's a challenge with Coach Hurley," Nivins admitted. "All I can do is work hard and play hard."

Still coming along offensively, Nivins is best known for his defense and rebounding. He has good mobility, long arms and a penchant for challenging shots. His offensive game is primarily confined to dunks and stickbacks.

Nivins has been to games at Seton Hall, St. Joe's and Rutgers, although he insists he's still very open on colleges.

"Playing time and exposure are important," Nivins said. "Also, I am looking for a school that will help me develop as a basketball player."

Nivins has accepted an invitation to play in the Reebok ABCD Camp next month, and will play with the North Jersey Hoops squad at the Reebok Big Time Tournament in Las Vegas. As a result, many other Division I programs will get a chance to evaluate him in the coming weeks.

Nivins has already achieved a qualifying test score on the SAT, further enhancing his value to Division I schools.

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