football

Las Vegas junior on the rise

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THE RIVALS150: Class of 2014 - Class of 2015
Make no mistake about it, junior Nate Grimes isn't your typical first year varsity player. A rising star on the West Coast, he has racked up a bunch of offers this winter.
A growing 6-foot-8 swingman who has only been playing basketball for four years, Grimes had a strong campaign during his first season on varsity at Las Vegas (Nev.) Desert Pines. He helped lead his team to the state semifinals but that wasn't enough for him.
"I feel it went alright," Grimes said of his junior season. "I know that I could have done a lot of things better. I could have been a better leader for the team. I wish I would have taken over when I had the chance to win state this year.
"But next year we are going to just work harder so that we win state."
Long, athletic and improving rapidly, Grimes has an ideal basketball body type. His offense is coming along and he says the next step for him is to be able to tell his teammates that he needs the ball in his hands when he is feeling it. But, he's already a standout in other areas.
"I rebounded and played defense," said Grimes when asked what he did well as a junior. "I played great defense and rebounded the ball like a 6-foot-11 center. I got my mid range jumper just a little bit better."
During the summer, Grimes plays for Lamar Bigby and the New York Knicks. His summer coach sees a humble talent who did a good job of filling the role his high school team needed him to.
"He's such a good kid and won't say certain things," said Bigby. "The system he played in he led his team in rebounding and scoring his first year playing varsity ball and he averaged like 14 points and 10 rebounds and took like seven or eight shots a game.
"He was very team oriented and the biggest maturation was where he played for me and was the focus and could take 15 or 18 shots if need be. So I thought he did very well playing under a system in a high school setting and being an all-state player."
The college programs have come calling for Grimes and he's been stacking up offers all winter. New Mexico, San Diego State, Boston College, Oregon State, UTEP, Utah State, Nevada, Southern Utah, UMass, Loyola Marymount, San Jose State and San Francisco. UCLA came in to see him early while USC, Arizona State and Gonzaga have shown recent interest.
"The most impressive thing I like about Nate is that pretty much everybody in the Mountain West has offered but UNLV," said Grimes. "Out of 12 schools he has all the offers except for UNLV."
According to Bigby, Grimes plans to narrow his list down to a more manageable number in the next couple of months.
"He is going to shorten up his list after the first live period," said Bigby. "We're going to sit down after April so when he gets to July he should have his top five schools."
For his part, Grimes is hungry to prove himself to the national basketball community and is looking forward to having a big summer with the Knicks. When he does pick his school, he wants to feel like he's joining a family that not only has his back, but will tell him what he needs to hear.
"I want them to treat me like a family," said Grimes. "I want somebody that is going to be on my side and help me but also be my mentor and tell me what I need to do.
"I want somebody like my coach (Bigby)."
Eric Bossi is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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