Daishen Nix was 14 when he moved from Alaska to Las Vegas, but Trinity International School basketball coach Greg Lockridge had big plans for him.
“I said we’re going to make you a McDonald’s All-American and a first-round draft pick,” Lockridge said.
Nix has made a prophet of his coach so far.
The 6-foot-5-inch senior point guard was one of 48 players in the country — 24 boys and 24 girls — who were named McDonald’s All-Americans last week. He’s averaging 26 points, 9.5 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks.
“When he first told me that, I thought, ‘This guy’s crazy,’” Nix said. “But in the past four years he’s helped me grow, be a better man and a better basketball player. Living up to his word and staying focused has me in the position I’m in today.”
The game will be played April 1 at the Toyota Center in Houston.
Nix said it was his mother Mina Tupuola’s idea to move the family to Las Vegas after his eighth-grade year to give him better basketball opportunities. He’s taken full advantage and is a full-fledged star back home.
At no time was that more apparent than last weekend, when Nix and Trinity International played in the Alaska Airlines Classic in Anchorage.
“There was a packed house night in and night out,” Lockridge said. “The game is over, and we’re still in the gym for two hours for (Nix) to take pictures and sign autographs before we could get to the hotel. After the championship game, they wanted to take us right out the back door, but I said we can’t do that.”
Nix said he has wanted to go back to Alaska and play in front of family and friends since moving to Las Vegas.
“I loved it a lot,” he said. “I’m always going to have time to take pictures with anybody, and anybody who wants my autograph will get one. It’s crazy coming from Alaska. I don’t think I’d be in this position if I wouldn’t have come to Las Vegas.”
Nix, a UCLA signee, is the fourth McDonald’s All-American from Alaska, joining Trajan Langdon, Carlos Boozer and Mario Chalmers, who all played in the NBA.
“The greatest part about this is I can always present him with something to chase,” Lockridge said. “It’s scary to me, the things I see every day. He’s going to be special. He understands purpose. He understands direction. He can take four guys on his back, and he’s the most coachable kid I’ve ever had. He approaches it the right way.”
Desert Oasis star hits milestone
Desert Oasis guard Dominique Ford has played less than two full seasons of varsity basketball, but he’s made the most of them.
A basket against Spring Valley in the third quarter Monday gave Ford 1,000 career points.
“It’s pretty impressive, and he’s starting to string together some really good games,” Desert Oasis coach Joseph Bedowitz said. “I don’t just mean with scoring, but he’s doing everything well.”
Ford, who averages 21.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.9 steals, is drawing interest from Division I and Division II colleges.
“All the hard work I put in behind the scenes is being displayed,” Ford said. “Nobody has ever really talked about me. I was an underdog, a sleeper.”
Ford is the second Diamondback to hit the 1,000-point plateau. Nate Van reached that mark at the MLK Showcase at Coronado against Rancho Solano Prep (Arizona).