Before Nolan Hickman received his diploma from Wasatch Academy on Saturday, the dean of students said Hickman would be attending “Gonzaga University” in the fall.
Turns out she broke the big news.
Hickman later confirmed on social media that he will be a Zag, giving the Bulldogs another big-time player in their 2021 class. Hickman was set to announce his decision, which he narrowed to Auburn, Kansas and Gonzaga, at a later time, Wasatch Academy head boys basketball coach Paul Peterson told SBLive. But before he got up on stage, he told them they could say “Gonzaga.”
Hickman, a 5-star recruit who spent the first three seasons of his high school career at Eastside Catholic just outside of Seattle, decommitted from Kentucky in late April. Hickman joins a Gonzaga class that includes the top recruit in the nation in Chet Holmgren (Minnehaha Academy, Minnesota) as well top-15 recruit Hunter Sallis (Millard North, Nebraska).
Hickman, a 6-foot-2 point guard who played his senior season at Wasatch Academy in Utah, is widely considered a top-25 player in his class. His move to Utah was spurred by a desire to continue to push himself against national-level talent, combined with the prospect of not having a winter season in Washington, where high school basketball is being played in condensed, playoff-less seasons primarily in May and June.
Hickman is no stranger to high-level competition. He played alongside consensus top-3 recruit Paolo Banchero, Arizona-bound Shane Nowell and top national football recruit JT Tuimoloau for Seattle Rotary.
He immediately factored into the rotation as a freshman at Eastside Catholic. As a junior, he put together a breakout season, leading the Crusaders to a Metro League regular season title and third place state finish.