The Colleyville Heritage boys basketball team is off to a strong start in district, and sophomore standout Niko Bossinakis is certainly doing his part.
Bossinakis has averaging more than 17 points per game this season, but it was a simple gesture that exemplifies the kind of leader he has grown into when a teammate wast injured a few weeks back against Fort Worth Eastern Hills.
“Nantz Nelson, a three-year letterman, tore his ACL,” coach Stephen Hamrick said. “Nantz is our captain, and he was actually four-for-four from the 3-point line before getting injured and leaving the game. We later discovered that he tore his ACL. Niko honored Nantz and wore his jersey on Saturday against Birdville.
“We won at Birdville 44-43. I was really proud of the way our team came together during an emotional time last week, losing a close game to Eastern Hills and losing Nantz. But we stuck together and found away to get a road win against a very good Birdville team.”
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Hamrick said having a player with Bossinakis’ scoring ability is quite a luxury.
“Niko brings us confidence in our ability to compete with anyone,” Hamrick said. “He also gives us the ability to score. He has a knack to get the ball in the bucket in a variety of ways.”
Bossinakis said he tries to bring energy, passion, leadership, enthusiasm and a strong work ethic to the Panthers and said he has been impressed with his team this season, particularly when it comes to chemistry.
“It’s been an incredible experience thus far,” Bossinakis said. “We have a great group of guys that are willing to work extremely hard every single day. We started the season off a little slowly, however I knew we would improve based on the commitment we have shown in practice.
“We have really good coaches that are good role models for hard work, giving us a reason to come in every day and work as hard as we do.”
Bossinakis said that he focuses almost exclusively on academics and basketball at Colleyville Heritage and said the objectives for 2017 are straightforward.
“Goals for the season are to win district and to go as far in the playoffs as we possibly can,” Bossinakis said. “I believe that with team success, personal success will come.”
With regard to wearing Nelson’s jersey during the Birdville game, Bossinakis said he did that for a couple of reasons.
“Nantz is someone that has always been a guy I could look to for guidance,” Bossinakis said. “He is not only one of my best friends, but he’s a competitor and a leader, and I know he would do anything to return from his ACL injury if he could. I wore Nantz’s No. 4 jersey to show respect to someone who has done a lot to mentor me and show me the tricks of the trade. The team wouldn’t be in the position we are in today without him.”
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