Category: Nico Mannion

Spencer Rattler, Nico Mannion give Phoenix Pinnacle HS national elite in two sports

Pinnacle High School (Phoenix) is blessed with two of the best passers in the nation.
It’s been quite the week for the Pioneers athletic program, which saw Chosen 25 point guard Nico Mannion hit a game-winning buzzer-beater to defeat Shadow Mountain (Phoenix), which had been the No. 8 team in the preseason boys basketball Super 25, on Nov. 30.
Then, on Monday, quarterback Spencer Rattler received his All-American Bowl jersey.
He said the Shadow Mountain game “was the best game I’ve seen (Mannion) play.”
But Mannion might have one-upped himself Thursday, putting on a show against Chosen 25 guard Jalen Green. Mannion dropped 33 points and 12 assists as he weaved his way into the paint, drew attention from multiple defenders and consistently whipped pinpoint passes cross-court for open looks.

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Mannion did so with Green switching on and off him.
Rattler was among the onlookers.
The quarterback also played on the Pinnacle basketball team last season, but with his Oklahoma career right around the corner, he’s focusing on getting into college football shape.
He is the No. 1 pro-style quarterback in the country.
And Mannion is the No. 1 point guard in the country despite reclassifying so he could start at Arizona a year early. He was a preseason ALL-USA selection.
Photo: Darryl Webb/Special for the Republic
Yet with all the accolades and attention, Mannion said he remains level-headed about Pinnacle running out the top player at two positions in two different sports.
“I wouldn’t say it’s normal now, but we’ve kind of gotten to the point where it’s not as big of a deal to us,” he said.
He does, though, take pride in the fact that neither player transferred. Both have been at Pinnacle since their first day of high school.
“It’s definitely odd to have the No. 1 point guard and the No. 1 quarterback at the same school, same city, and I mean, it’s not like we just transferred in recently.”
Rattler: “We really put Pinnacle on the map we feel like, and we just want to continue doing that.”

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Pinnacle basketball coach Charles Wilde said Mannion is humble, not just putting on a facade in front of the camera.
“He likes being on the court with a big crowd,” Wilde started to say – and that much is clear. The Thursday game was televised on ESPN+, and Mannion scored 12 of the first 17 points for Pinnacle, going 4-for-5 from 3-point range with his one miss rolling in and out of the hoop.
“But everything else outside of that, he’d rather just be at home or with his teammates in the locker room,” Wilde continued. “He doesn’t have to have the glory.”
Mannion was elected duke of Pinnacle’s homecoming but asked if he could pass on the honor.
“I get a lot of attention… I didn’t feel the need to do it,” Mannion said. “I felt like, if I won, cool, it’s not a big deal for me, especially when someone else could do it and get the attention for it.”
A point guard on and off the court alike.
Quarterback Spencer Rattler (2) of the Pinnacle Pioneers runs for a touchdown against the Perry Pumas on Aug. 17, 2018. (Photo: Billy Hardiman/Special for The Republic)
Rattler is no novice to national attention either. He has been the subject of an ESPN feature and Netflix’s “QB1: Beyond the Lights,” seemingly in the news his entire high school career.
The attention spans to social media, where Rattler has 43,000 followers on Instagram and Mannion has 227,000. Both have more than 10,000 followers on Twitter.
“I’m used to it and I like it,” Rattler said. “It’s something that really doesn’t matter to me, and I just kind of roll with it. It kind of just comes to me and I just try to not get a big head from it.”
That doesn’t mean either player lacks confidence. They absolutely recognize their abilities.
Wilde said Mannion realized he can compete with anyone after becoming the youngest basketball player ever on the Italy national team, and Rattler believes Pinnacle football would have won the championship if he hadn’t lost eligibility right before the playoffs.
But they don’t let that confidence become cockiness.
“They love (being the top-rated players) … but the thing is, as good as players they are, they’re probably better people. They’re fun to be around, they’re very polite, they’re very coachable,” Wilde said. “They’re just going to be outstanding at the next level because they’re that way.”

Pinnacle's Nico Mannion runs past San Joaquin Memorial's Jalen Green during in the first half of their game in Scottsdale, Thurs, Dec. 6, 2018.

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<p>Pinnacle's Nico Mannion puts up a 3-pointer against San Joaquin Memorial's Jalen Green during the first half of the game on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Photo: Darryl Webb/Special for the Republic).</p>

San Joaquin Memorial's Jalen Green points points to Pinnacle's Nico Mannion and during in the first half of their game in Scottsdale, Thurs, Dec. 6, 2018.

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<p>Pinnacle's Trent Brown (24) drives to the basket against San Joaquin Memorial's Kyle Micheli during the first half of the game on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Photo: Darryl Webb/Special for the Republic).</p>

Pinnacle's Nico Mannion drives the lane and scores against San Joaquin Memorial's Braxton Meah (34) and Jaden Geron(1) during in the first half of their game in Scottsdale, Thurs, Dec. 6, 2018.

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Pinnacle's Nico Mannion shouts out a play against San Joaquin Memorial's Jalen Green during in the first half of their game in Scottsdale, Thurs, Dec. 6, 2018.

Uscp 7333z8rh4k4168djzj2b Original

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Chosen 25 battle: Nico Mannion puts on a show against Jalen Green

Chosen 25 2019 point guard Nico Mannion did an ESPN2 interview before Thursday’s marquee matchup at Scottsdale Chaparral.
That pumped him up.
Then, he saw who San Joaquin (Calif.) Memorial was putting on him to start the Hoophall West showdown.
With 6-foot-6 Chosen 25 guard Jalen Green taking on 6-foot-3 Mannion, it was on.

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Mannion drove around Green then popped out beyond the arc. Swish. He drove around, then got the ball from the 3-point line. Swish. Another 3 followed yet another 3.
Four minutes into the game, Mannion had  12 points — all on 3s — to keep pace with Green’s 11 points.
Neither Mannion nor Green disappointed, going back and forth, before Phoenix Pinnacle took control late in the second quarter and went on to win 90-69.

Pinnacle's Nico Mannion runs past San Joaquin Memorial's Jalen Green during in the first half of their game in Scottsdale, Thurs, Dec. 6, 2018.

Uscp 733417l1bnn1frowjj2b Original

<p>Pinnacle's Nico Mannion puts up a 3-pointer against San Joaquin Memorial's Jalen Green during the first half of the game on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Photo: Darryl Webb/Special for the Republic).</p>

San Joaquin Memorial's Jalen Green points points to Pinnacle's Nico Mannion and during in the first half of their game in Scottsdale, Thurs, Dec. 6, 2018.

Uscp 7334046xnkkiq9vj2b Original

<p>Pinnacle's Trent Brown (24) drives to the basket against San Joaquin Memorial's Kyle Micheli during the first half of the game on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Photo: Darryl Webb/Special for the Republic).</p>

Pinnacle's Nico Mannion drives the lane and scores against San Joaquin Memorial's Braxton Meah (34) and Jaden Geron(1) during in the first half of their game in Scottsdale, Thurs, Dec. 6, 2018.

Uscp 73341b3ygy11d5ncbj2b Original

Pinnacle's Nico Mannion shouts out a play against San Joaquin Memorial's Jalen Green during in the first half of their game in Scottsdale, Thurs, Dec. 6, 2018.

Uscp 7333z8rh4k4168djzj2b Original

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“The first half, I knew I had to get our team going,” Mannion said. “I made my first two (baskets) and I just kept shooting.
“Once I started feeling it, I kept going.”
Mannion finished with 33 points and 12 assists before taking a seat for good with 2:20 left.
“Nico wanted that from day one,” said junior guard Marcus Libman, who had to the challenge of trying to slow down Green. “It’s on ESPN, big showdown.”
Green, who has a 247Sports composite ranking of No. 2 overall in the nation and the No. 1 shooting guard, stuck around after Mannion and the rest of Pinnacle’s starters took a seat for a couple of highlight dunks, before going to the bench. He finished with 33 points.

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Green and Mannion once roomed together last year at the USA Basketball camp.
As Mannion was surrounded by cameras and reporters after the game, Green walked by and smiling yelled, “Hey, big time.”
“He’s an Arizona commit, and Arizona is going  to love him out here,” Green said. “It was a good matchup. We came out battling. We’ll both get better from it.”
Mannion said he was going to work on Green to follow him to Arizona.
But Green said Arizona is one of the schools he is considering, “but right now I’m not focused on a college.”
Read the rest of the story at the Arizona Republic.