Nix to skip college and go pro, signs with NBA G League

April 28, 2020

Daishen Nix

Just like one of his patented stop-and-go moves on the basketball court, Daishen Nix of Anchorage switched gears with his decision to skip college and sign with the NBA G League professional pathway program.

His choice not to attend UCLA and instead cash in on a six-figure contract sent shock waves throughout the college basketball world. Nix is the third major recruit this month to pick playing in the NBA’s developmental league over a one-and-done year in the NCAA.

“Going to the NBA was always a dream and going to the G League will help me get ready for the NBA,” Nix told me. “I always knew it was an option. My family and me, we’ve been talking about it but I just now chose to do it.”

The 6-foot-5 Nix is a consensus five-star high school recruit and arguably the best point guard in the country. This season, the McDonald’s All-American was named co-MVP of the prestigious Grind Session alongside prep school star Jalen Green, who also opted into the G League pathway program.

Was Nix trying to send a message to the NCAA?

“Not at all,” he said. “I just wanted to be close to the NBA.”

Nix will become the sixth Alaskan to play in the G League, joining Roderick Wilmont of Sitka, Damen Bell-Holter of Hydaburg and Ramon Harris, Devon Bookert and Jalil Abdul-Bassit of Anchorage.

Nix at the Alaska Airlines Classic

The players in the pathway program will join an inaugural G League select team that will not play a full season or be affiliated with any NBA franchise.

Instead, they will train with NBA staff and get a chance to scrimmage G League teams and NBA academy squads from around the world.

“I will be playing against guys that have already been to the NBA and guys trying to go the NBA,” Nix said. “This will get me ready for the draft.”

Nix will be eligible for the 2021 NBA draft and is projected by some to be a first-round pick. Had the NBA allowed 18-year-olds to go directly from high school to the pros, he said he probably would have declared for this summer’s draft.

As it was, going to the G League felt like the next best thing.

“Going to the G League was best for me,” he said.

Nix is a total-package floor general with hard-to-guard handles, killer court vision and a lavish layup package. Throw in size and strength and he’s confident his game will translate well to the next level.

“I think because I’m a bigger guard it’ll be easy for me,” Nix said. “I’m bigger than every point guard that’s been playing in the league.”

Nix hasn’t signed with an agent, and instead will have his mom Mina and high school coach Greg Lockridge will represent him.

“They are pretty much behind me with everything,” he said. “We’re still in our little group.”

In 2016, Mina moved her family to Las Vegas to better increase her son’s exposure to elite youth basketball. He played all four years for Lockridge at Trinity International, which won the 2020 Alaska Airlines Classic at West High in a homecoming for Nix.

Nix regularly rocked Alaska gear under his Trinity jersey, a Rage City shoutout for the whole world to see.

“Everybody is looked at like an outsider coming from Alaska,” Nix said. “People try to say I’m from Vegas, but I don’t claim that I’m from Vegas because I want to be an outside and that’s what people claim Alaska to be.”