Nikko Pentelute is a freshmen on the Gilbert Tigers' Varsity team who is splitting game time between the Varsity and JV teams. For a freshman, Nikko is physically strong enough to compete at the varsity level and has done a good job challenging his upperclassmen during team training sessions and steps-up to challenge Varsity level opponents during games.
Besides the physical aspect that he brings, Nikko's game mind-set is miles ahead of most freshmen. His basketball IQ is simpy off the charts. The coaching staff is very excited for Nikko’s progression over the next four years to lead the Tigers to many successful seasons.
Assistant Varsity Coach Newendyke states "Nikko is a hard worker and we are looking forward to seeing him grow with our program. He is not just on the team, he is a Freshman that gets to play and contribute."
Nikko's ability on the court and game IQ is easily attributed to his father, Tom Pentelute, who trained and coached his son throughout most of Nikko's competitive youth basketball years. Tom's passion for the game has made him a well-respected Arizona club basketball coach who has positively influenced many kids in the game. Watching Tom coach shows why Nikko has developed into a strong up and coming local hoops star. But Tom is quick to note that Nikko's ability on the court comes from everyone who has contributed to Nikko's current success. He states that, "it has taken an entire community of basketball leaders to shape Nikko's game."
Nikko currently plays for both the Varsity team and the JV team. Gilbert high school JV coach, Michael Charles is one of Nikko's raving fans. When asked what he thinks of Nikko, Coach Charles was quick to point out that Nikko arrived to the high school team with "an incredibly polished game that includes a high basketball IQ coupled with very refined basketball skills."
Currently, the Gilbert high boys basketball Varsity team is a true contender for the Arizona state championship title. Sporting only one loss for the season, the team is formidable, well-trained and has great player chemistry. Having Freshman Nikko Pentelute on the team is indicative of a winning team that is fated to be one of the top boys basketball teams in the Arizona youth basketball landscape for many years to come.
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