On January 11, Amarion Nimmers, a senior at Rock Island High School, scored 45 points in a game against Dubuque Hempstead. Nimmers did not realize that University of Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery was in the seats watching the game.
“I was extremely weary that night since we had that big game the day before against Moline,” Nimmers explained. “I didn’t even realize he was there until after I had an interview… and I was rather surprised.”
“That’s just a life lesson.” You must always push yourself because you never know who is watching.”
How it All Started
Despite the fact that McCaffery was not typically there for Nimmers, the Rocky point guard made sure to recognize his presence. A few weeks after the conclusion of the previous season, Nimmers accepted McCaffery’s invitation to travel to Iowa City for a visit. As a direct result of this trip, Nimmers was ultimately able to contribute to the Big Ten Conference school as a preferred walk-on player.
Nimmers was surprised by the school and how the players and coaches interacted with each other. Nimmers felt at ease with the program because of these connections.
“When I first arrived at the college, Nimmers remarked, “I was incredibly amazed.” It was a lovely university town. They gave me a tour of the entire school and pointed out all the minor details. I got to know a number of folks who worked there. Everyone was friendly and gave me proper greetings.
“I liked how the coaches and players communicated with me for the first time. When I arrived, they treated me as if I was already a member of the team. I could tell that the players and coaches genuinely cared for one another. There aren’t many teams like that. They treat you as if you were family.”
Our third male athlete of the year finalist is Rock Island's Amarion Nimmers (@nolimitmarrr). He led Big 6 in scoring for second straight year and broke school record for single-game scoring with 45. Illinois All-Metro captain and 3A all-stater is off to play basketball at Iowa. pic.twitter.com/783Ga88WBk
— Matt Coss (@mattcoss78) May 25, 2022
Joining the Hawkeyes
The next day, Nimmers went to the University of Illinois; however, a few days later, Iowa contacted him and informed him that he could join the squad and potentially have an impact on the team. The prospect of Nimmers receiving a scholarship and being given playing time quickly increased his level of excitement.
Nimmers will join an Iowa squad that has made the NCAA tournament in 2019, 2021, and 2022 while winning 20 games in four straight seasons. In the most recent season, Iowa was victorious in the Big Ten Conference tournament for the first time since 2006.
Playing in the Big 10 is really important to Nimmers, he added. “I was an Iowa Hawkeyes fan growing up. I mean, I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to compete in the Big 10. This is indeed a dream realized, and it still seems a little surreal to me. I’m in a fantastic position.
“I’m still attempting to process everything. My home is only 55 minutes away, and I have a large family and supportive friends up there. So I’m quite comfortable even when I’m not playing basketball. Both on and off the court, I am confident in my abilities.”
He spoke with HF about the visit & where things stand with the Hawkeyes https://t.co/t0ykmIFOiV
— HawkFanatic (@TheHawkFanatic) April 26, 2022
One of the things that helped Nimmers and Iowa become close was Iowa’s mastery of his playing technique. This is the second season in a row that the guard from Rocky has finished with the highest scoring average in the Western Big 6 Conference, averaging 23.9 points per game. His ability to drive the ball and shoot from beyond the arc, along with his ability to run up and down the court quickly, makes him a good fit for the Hawkeyes’ style of play.
Nimmers’ flexibility on the floor helped Rock Island reach its first sectional championship game since 2013 this past season. With 744 points this past season, Nimmers broke Rocky’s single-season scoring record, earning Class 3A second-team AP All-State honors.
Nimmers hit the 1,000-point mark in January and finished second all-time for the school in points. He won the dunk competition in the Iowa-Illinois Senior All-Star game while sporting the Rock Island uniform with an impressive between-the-legs 360-degree slam.
— Amarion Nimmers (@nolimitmarrr) May 1, 2022
What the Future Holds
Nimmers stated, “My experience at Rock Island was incredibly special, and I wouldn’t have wanted to play for any other high school.” “I had two distinct coaches who both took me in and helped me become a leader.”
Nimmers’ next goal is to surpass his high school accomplishments in Iowa City.
“I want to be successful on and off the court,” Nimmers stated. “That’s why I chose this particular school.” It’s a fantastic program for both basketball and school. I want to come in as a freshman and not only make a big impression but also make a large impression in the classroom. “I’m just doing what I’ve been doing throughout high school and taking it over to college – working my butt off in everything I do.”
Happy Birthday to freshman, Amarion Nimmers! 🎉🎈🎂 pic.twitter.com/qFW7QQo1kL
— Iowa Men’s Basketball (@IowaHoops) September 16, 2022
Credits on Featured Image: Phil Roeder on Flickr