Student Spotlight: Nic Wrixon
Updated: Oct 20, 2022
Nic Wrixon has been an athlete for pretty much his entire life. When he was young, he solely played soccer and golf, despite a wide-ranged interest in a multitude of other sports. However, after his parents threw him in a camp, albeit involuntary, he realized that he enjoyed the sport of basketball. So when he was 12 years old, he decided to quit his other sports to prioritize basketball.
Nic had to put in hours and hours of hard work to get to where he is right now. "I spent equal time at school as basketball. I used to have nine practices a week, playing on a club team," says Nic. He attended two-hour practices every day of the week, with weekends having two practices per day while also managing his social, family and academic life.
In Grade 8, Nic joined the Collingwood community and debuted as the starting point guard on the basketball scene. When he was in only Grade 8, Nic was even called up to play in the Grade 10 boys team at one point. In Grade 9, he played on the Grade 10 team, and in Grade 10, he joined the senior boy's basketball team as the starting point guard. Nic had a talent that many envied; regardless, there were multiple challenges in the upbringing of the athlete's capabilities.
Even though he was excelling on the court, there were also many obstacles that Nic had to overcome. In the summer of Grade 10, Nic suffered from a high ankle sprain that restricted the movement of his ankle for three weeks. He ended up getting Achilles tendonitis and now has to wear an ankle brace on his left foot for the rest of his life. Although this was incredibly debilitating, Nic persevered and continued to play this season. The onset of COVID-19 seemed to be a blessing in disguise for Nic, as he could heal during that period while not missing out on the basketball season. Interestingly enough, the ankle sprain developed a pre-game ritual for Nic. Since his injury, he always puts his ankle brace on, then his right shoe, and then his left shoe.
Now, for what we've all been waiting for, what are some of Nic's successes? According to Nic, here are his top 4 moments in basketball:
1. Winning the No Regrets Scholarship award
This is a $500 scholarship awarded to talented basketball players, those with high academic standing, a strong sense of leadership, support for their team, and high commitment and perseverance for their team.
2. Overcoming his loss in Grade 10. He lost to Mulgrave to get into provincials (it was 104-92, a very close and high-scoring game).
It is always difficult to lose a game of basketball, or any sport for that matter, especially when the score is so close. This was a difficult moment for Nic as the senior boys’ basketball team was an inch away from attending Provincials.
3. Going to Brentwood for the ISAs when he was just in Grade 10.
This experience for Nic allowed him to bond with his teammates, all of which were in older grades than him. It allowed him to learn from the more mature players on the team.
4. Shooting 37 points against STA on Feb 3.
For those unfamiliar with the game of basketball, that is a LOT of points. To prove the talent in Nic's average points per game, in the current 2019-20 NBA season, players averaged at least 20 points per game (PPG). At least 20 points per game can be considered an incredible PPG in basketball, and the player may even receive All-Star consideration in the NBA.
Nic accredits a lot of his success to the people who mentored him. From Grade 10, Mr. Wong, one of the head coaches of the senior boys, has inspired Nic's hard work and dedication to the senior boy's basketball team. Coaches who scouted Nic to join their workouts and club basketball teams include Jarryn Skeet and Ransford Brempong. In addition, Lochlan collins, a renowned Collingwood basketball player, was an essential mentor to Nic, taking him under his wing and teaching Nic the wisdom Lochlan learned from his years of competitive basketball. Nic claims that he is trying to pass down the same guidance and support to upcoming basketball star James Holm who is currently in Grade 10 and the only sophomore on the senior boys' team.
The current basketball season for Nic has been nothing short of calm. Thanks to Nic's attitude and leadership as the captain, the boys' team has a 17-2 win streak, losing to only top-ranked AAA teams. Nic claims he is "trying to build a winning culture on the team since Collingwood has not achieved that realistically since 2015." Nic wants to thank his coaches, Ms. Ross and Mr. Wong, for doing a fabulous job of maintaining the team's positivity. He is proud of his team and content with each player - they all respect each other and move past disagreements quickly. While there is a little bit of pressure on Nic's shoulders, due to being the only player who has ever played senior basketball before, he remains a humble, motivated, supportive, and positive athlete and individual. While the future surrounding Nic’s involvement remains unknown, we are so excited to see Nic's achievements in not just his athletic career but in general!
Photos credits: Daisy Li