Nico Mannion came out for warmups Thursday as the only player on Pinnacle (Phoenix) High School’s team with a black shirt over his jersey.
On the front, “#overrated” was written.
“I hear that all the time from the other student section, so why not make a little fun of myself and let them know I don’t care,” Mannion said after showing how overrated he was in top-seed Phoenix Pinnacle’s 79-69 6A boys basketball semifinal win over Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.) at Arizona State University’s Wells Fargo Arena with 42 points, including 18 of 22 free throws.
Mannion, a 6-foot-3 senior point guard who signed with Arizona and is committed to playing in two high school All-American games, missed all seven of his 3-point tries in the first half.
But he found other ways to keep his team in front. He made all five of his two-point shots and hit four of five free throws, scoring 14 points in the first half, and dishing out five assists, as Pinnacle took a 36-30 lead.
In the second half, Mannion quickly hit his first two 3-point tries, and he was on his way to another huge night.
He made 11 of 23 shots, had six rebounds, six assists and two steals.
“When my shot’s not falling, usually someone else is there,” Mannion said. “Just working hard. Get to the line. That helps.”
Mannion said his pre-game shirt was “a statement.”