The recruiting process had to play itself out. But in the end, Hamilton Heights Christian (Tenn.) four-star guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker came back to the school he knew best.
On Thursday night, Alexander-Walker announced on Instagram that he had committed to Virginia Tech. In early March, he included the Hokies in a top five that also consisted of Baylor, Cincinnati, Maryland and USC.
Overall, Alexander-Walker said the decision was an easy one.
“It was the best fit for me,” he said. “I loved the atmosphere, plus Buzz (Williams) and the rest of the team.”
The Hokies were among the first to offer, last spring. But the relationship went much deeper than that.
Alexander-Walker’s youngest uncle played high school basketball with Virginia Tech assistant coach Jamie McNeilly. That relationship continued through the years and carried over to Alexander-Walker and McNeilly.
“He is like an uncle to me,” Alexander-Walker said. “Our families are very close and have a history together.”
Ranked No. 74 by Scout.com, Alexander-Walker gives Virginia Tech a reinforcement for the next few seasons. At guard, Seth Allen and Devin Wilson have one more year of eligibility, while Jalen Hudson announced his transfer last month.
“They haven’t promised me anything,” Alexander-Walker said. “But they have given me a great opportunity to make an impact as a freshman and play good minutes if I work hard.”
This summer, Alexander-Walker plans to play again with Canada Elite on the AAU circuit. He hopes it will allow him more time to be ready for the ACC and what the Hokies expect of him.
“I’ve got to get a lot stronger and better with my decision-making,” Alexander-Walker said.
Barring something unforeseen, Alexander-Walker said he’s solid with Virginia Tech and hopes to visit again this summer.
“I’m done looking,” he said. “It’s closed for good.”