Trinity International point guard Daishen Nix loves everything about his home state of Alaska except the cold weather.
“He hated the cold weather,” said his mother, Mina Tupuola. “He hated wearing snow pants, the hats, the gloves.”
But Las Vegas is plenty warm. And so is Los Angeles.
Nix, the valley’s top senior and a consensus five-star recruit, announced on Tuesday his commitment to UCLA, ending a recruitment that blossomed in the last 12 months.
His commitment is nonbinding and won’t be official until he signs a national letter of intent. Basketball players can begin signing Nov. 13.
“Coming from Alaska, just committing anywhere for me is like a big deal. Going to (a Division I school) is all I dreamed of,” Nix said. “As soon as I came out of Alaska that was still my dream and my goal.”
Nix grew up in Anchorage but moved to Las Vegas before his freshman season in search of more exposure and better competition. He chose Trinity International and coach Greg Lockridge, with whom he lives, over the traditional local powers.
The 6-foot-5-inch, 210-pounder has uncanny court vision and instinctively draws extra defenders to open his teammates in transition and half-court settings. He’s also a capable scorer who uses his sturdy frame to create space and power through defenders.
“Good guards see angles. Great guards create angles. That’s a different animal in itself,” Lockridge said. “I’m more about what he needs to improve on. He needs to become a better shooter. He needs to become a better defender. The challenge of this year is to prepare him for that next level.”
Trinity International doesn’t compete in the NIAA, so Nix rarely plays locally during the high school season. The program belongs to the Grind Session, a league comprised of prep schools across the country in which he averaged 19.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists as a junior.
Along with UCLA, Nix had scholarship offers from elite programs such as Kansas and Arizona. He took an official visit to UCLA last weekend and said he committed to the Southern California school so he would be close to his family in Las Vegas.
And out of the cold for the foreseeable future.
Daishen Nix rankings
— ESPN: No. 22 overall, No. 5 PG
— 247 Sports: No. 10 overall, No. 1 PG
— Rivals: No. 14 overall, No. 2 PG