Chosen 25 point guard Nico Mannion was announced as a midseason ALL-USA Player of the Year candidate Friday morning.
That evening, he showed exactly why.
The five-star Arizona signee scored 57 points topped off by a game-winning buzzer-beating in which he fought to get around a defender on the inbound pass, weaved his way upcourt and contorted himself around three potential shot-blockers as he put up a 3-point shot.
As Pinnacle High School (Phoenix) fans have become accustomed to seeing, it was money.
The Pioneers defeated Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.) 91-88.
Mannion’s speed, ball handling ability and shooting touch were on display as he won the game.
Nico Dropped 57 points & a GAME WINNING BUZZER BEATER!! 🔥 @niccolomannion #ballislife pic.twitter.com/kg60OVA7Jn
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) February 2, 2019
The top-ranked 2019 point guard, Mannion reclassified earlier this school year from 2020. He became the youngest athlete to play for the national Italian team over summer and has shown off his skill set all season.
He’s part of Arizona’s No. 1 recruiting class, joined by fellow Chosen 25 guard Josh Green and a pair of four-star athletes in Zeke Nnaji of Hopkins (Minn.) and Terry Armstrong of Bella Vista (Scottsdale, Ariz.).
Mannion has helped Pinnacle gain a spot in the Super 25 regional rankings.
At 22-3, the Pioneers have one game left in the regular season.