Florida extends offer to four-star
It was a big-time atmosphere inside the Stephen C. O'Connell Center Tuesday night for the Florida-Kentucky game - and a hot ticket for in-state recruits as the Gators hosted more than a dozen prospects on unofficial visits.
Florida assistant coach Dusty May has been monitoring Windermere Prep 2017 wing David Nickelberry for some time and the junior received a scholarship offer from Mike White after the game.
Nickelberry took an unofficial visit to Gainesville in early February for the game against Ole Miss with his Showtime Hoops AAU coach.
Tuesday night he returned with his mother.
Although the Gators didn't come away with a win over the Wildcats, Nickelberry was more than happy with his visit.
"It's an amazing offer," Nickelberry said. "I love the Florida program, always have. I've talked to coach May quite a bit. He's a great coach and just a great person. Coach White, I've talked to him a few times as well. He is also a great guy and all he wants to do is build a relationship with my family and I."
In addition to Florida, the 6-foot-7 lefty also holds offers from FIU, George Mason, Georgia, Memphis, Miami, Murray State, Stephen F. Austin, Stetson, Tulane and UCF.
According to sources, an offer from Florida State could come this weekend.
Nickelberry, the No. 74 ranked prospect in the Rivals150, led his Windermere Prep team to the 3A state title just last week while averaging 16 points, eight rebounds, five assists, 3.5 steals and one block in two games in Lakeland.
He also shot 13 for 21 (.619 percent) from the floor.
Between the state championship and the offer from Florida Nickelberry has had little chance to catch his breath.
"Honestly, I just feel like I'm on top of the world right now," he said. "But I cannot settle down. I have to keep pushing myself and keep working. There is definitely room for improvement and different places I can improve on my game. I just have to stay focused."
Windermere Prep head coach Ben Wilson loves the versatility Nickelberry provides.
IN THE WORDS OF HIS COACH: He's a stat stuffer. He can play a lot of positions. He grew up playing that forward spot and now he's playing the guard spot. So he can do a lot of things on the court and that is what makes him so valuable. He's still developing. He is kind of becoming a different player. He's still growing, but while he's been growing he has maintained guard skills. I think all his career he has been treated as a forward or a spot up shooter, so he's really kind of becoming a different player. He has an open mind and he is learning that combo position where he can play point (guard) or score. He's still learning the game.
RIVALS REACTION: David Nickelberry is a crafty and accurate passer, he is a dangerous shooter beyond the arc and has a high basketball IQ. If his shot is not falling, he is capable of sliding over to the point guard position and facilitate for his teammates. Nickelberry's long arms help make him a disruptive defender. These skills and versatility led to Nickelberry moving from No. 124 in the Rivals150 up to No. 74 in our recent update. We expect more high majors to make offers to Nickelberry during the travel season but believe that Florida in good position with him.
Russ Wood is a contributing national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com and InsideTheGators.com click here to follow him on Twitter