Photo courtesy of Fordham University Athletics
By David Cordova
Throughout this season, there have been plenty of good moments for the Fordham Rams. Although they have been struggling this season with an 11-16 record, there is one reason to look towards the future.
Look no further than Nick Honor, a guard that is a walking bucket whenever he steps on to the court. The 5-foot-10 guard has a penchant for scoring in bunches and getting to the basket.
When asked what motivates on him on the court, he replied, “Just knowing that the NBA has always been my goal as a young kid. I don’t know, just, my family motivates me, ’cause, I believe I was blessed with a gift. [I’m] just trying to work hard every day [to] make my family proud.”
Honor hails from Orlando, Florida, where there’s a pretty good basketball culture. Out there, there’s the Orlando Magic of the NBA, and there’s also Disney’s Wide World of Sports, where there are plenty of basketball events throughout the year.
“It’s just a real friendly city,” he said of his hometown, “Most of my family is there, so, it’s real cool. But just playing basketball there, a lot of people came before me, and I’m just kind of following that trend of being known around the city.”
In his high school years, he played on the Nike EYBL circuit with Each 1 Teach 1, a program that has produced several NBA players in Austin Rivers (Houston Rockets), Tony Bradley (Utah Jazz), Jonathan Isaac (Orlando Magic), Antonio Blakeney (Chicago Bulls), Kevin Knox (New York Knicks), NBA All-Star D’Angelo Russell (Brooklyn Nets) and last year’s NBA Rookie of the Year, Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers).
“Just a great program all around,” he said of Each 1 Teach 1, “Definitely helped me become the player I am, coached by Coach Reese. It was just good playing with them, getting exposure all around the country, just an all-around great experience.”
When asked about Knox, who in his rookie season in the NBA, and plays in the same city as him, Honor replied, “Yeah, most def. I talk to him almost every day. Me, him and Emmitt Wiliams (freshman forward at LSU), so definitely kept that bond, cause we were definitely tight back then, and we’re tight now.”
On the basketball culture in Florida, Honor added: “It’s definitely picking up, you know, everybody thinks Florida is a football state, but the talent that is coming up, we’re solely trying to change that culture, and make it both a basketball and football state.”
At Lake Highland Preparatory School, a private school with an enrollment of 2,000 students, he made his mark on the court. As a sophomore, he averaged 11 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. As a junior, he averaged 21.3 points per game and made 85 three-pointers on the season, while earning third-team All-Central Florida honors, courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel. As a senior, he saved his best performance for last by averaging 19 points per game and earning Florida’s Class 5A Player of the Year award.
When all was said and done, he signed his letter of intent to Fordham in his senior season. When asked why he chose to play for the Rams, he replied, “The relationship with the coaching staff, well, the academics was a given, of course. But just the relationship with the coaching staff, knowing that I have the opportunity to play in a big-time league [such as the Atlantic 10], and be able to showcase my skills.”
During this time of year in the state of Florida, it’s always warm & sunny, but in New York, it’s the complete opposite. When asked how he has been getting acclimated to a different climate, he replied with a laugh, “That’s funny you ask that, I’m trying to get used to it right now, definitely got to bundle up, but I’m getting better as the day goes on.”
So far, Honor has been spectacular on the averaging 16 points and three assists per game, and has had several big scoring games with the best being a 30-point effort against Rutgers on December 8th at Rose Hill Gym. Also, he has been a part of a spectacular freshman class that includes shooting guard Jalen Cobb, forward Onyi Eyisi, shooting guard Ty Perry and combo guard Chris Austin.
When asked about being a part of Fordham’s spectacular freshman class, he replied, “It feels pretty good, definitely need those wins, that’s the most important thing, but I think with this freshman class, the most important thing we’re doing is just trying to change the culture and get back to winning here. So, [we’re trying to] build something special here in the future.”
On whether that group of players can do something special for the rest of their time here, he replied, “Yes, sir, I believe so, just working every day in practice. We’re growing as each day goes. I definitely think we can do something special, the main goal is the NCAA Tournament and before that, the A-10 championship, but I definitely believe we can get there.”
Outside of the fact that he is a scoring point guard that can also facilitate, he feels there is a couple of things that he needs to improve on, “I always think I need to get better on the defensive end, just cause, there’s always room for improvement, [my] weakness is probably becoming a better leader.”
On December 1st, in a big-time rivalry game on the road against Manhattan in the annual Battle of the Bronx, with just a couple of seconds left, Honor took a pass and nailed a jumper to give the Rams a 57-56 win. The good news is that Fordham has him for another three years of action, but then again, for him, the best is yet to come.