Athlete of the Week: NBA G League star Daishen Nix of Anchorage

Athlete of the Week: Daishen Nix
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 10:27 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage’s Daishen Nix is currently one of the hottest players in the G League (NBA’s developmental, minor league), named Player of the Week after averaging 27.5 points, seven rebounds, 6.3 assists and 2.8 steals for Houston Rockets affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers at the end of January. However, he is not the first to take all of the credit for his success.

“I think the hot streak is just the coaching and just my teammates,” Nix said over Zoom. “They put me through everything I need to be put through.”

Not only is he spoken like a true professional at just 19 years old, Nix also carries himself as such, crediting his mother and upbringing in Anchorage. Nix, who attended Mears Middle School, was born in Fairbanks and raised in Anchorage until high school, where he made the difficult decision to chase his hoop dreams in the Lower 48, enrolling at Trinity Prep in Las Vegas.

“That decision was very hard for me,” Nix reflected. “Growing up, I probably went to kindergarten with like some of the friends all the way through middle school, and that’s like 12 years right there that I probably won’t ever forget.”

“Going to a new spot was pretty hard,” he continued later on. “I think like two weeks later I actually went back because I missed it so much. I had like a championship game at ACS High School and then like after that, I don’t even remember the last time I came back, I think that was in that tournament.”

That tournament was the 2020 Alaska Airlines Classic, where Nix competed against some of his former teammates and friends with visiting Trinity Prep. During that week two years ago, the West Anchorage High School gymnasium was packed for every game where Nix battled his fellow Alaskans.

“I get a lot of support, they’ve always been supportive,” he said. “Since I left they have been supportive and then when I came back in high school they were still supportive, and then even until now, I was still get the same support coming from everybody out there.”

Nix originally committed to UCLA, before decommitting and singing with the NBA’s official minor league basketball organization, G League Ignite. Going undrafted in 2021, Nix first signed a Summer League deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, before finding his current home with the Rockets organization.

From the G League, 6-foot-4 point guard has been called up in eight NBA games with Houston, becoming the fifth Alaskan to appear an NBA game. In his second career game, Nix faced off against the fourth NBA Alaskan, JT Thor of the Charlotte Hornets.

“I actually got to play with JT on the court, played against him, scored a basket against him,” Nix said. “It’s just like ... he made it, I made it, we’re just putting on for Alaska.”

From a path that took him from Fairbanks, to Anchorage, to Las Vegas, to California, plus a couple more stops in between, Nix has the same advice for any young basketball players from Alaska looking to be in his NBA-sized shoes one day.

“You want to stay focused, play your sports, work hard, and do your school work because school work is mandatory if you want to keep playing basketball,” he said.

With Nix’s recent performances in the G League, expect him to return to the highest level — the NBA — in the near future.

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