Nico Mannion's red hair doesn't stand out nearly as much as his game does. And, the Pinnacle high school senior is considered to be the next great point guard at the University of Arizona.
The son of a professional basketball and volleyball player who met in Italy, Mannion is a basketball prodigy, and someone who Arizona coach Sean Miller began recruiting in the eighth grade.
"He can score, he can finish in transition, and he knows how to get others involved," said Miller.
Mannion led his team to a state championship last season, and this year is considered to be the top point guard in the nation. The interest that Arizona had in him was mutual.
"It's called 'Point Guard U' for a reason," said Mannion. "They obviously have some great talent. Right now, TJ McConnell is playing in the league, and he's doing great playing a ton of minutes and doing his thing. I hope I can just contribute to that."
So this past summer, Mannion committed to the Wildcats.
"The fans are amazing," added Mannion. "It's always sold out. It's like a family atmosphere, and I want to be part of it."
Nico Mannion is expected to lead Arizona's offense on the court next year, but he's already done some leading off of it. Mannion was the first high profile recruit to sign with the Wildcats since the college basketball corruption scandal began.
"In so many ways, he and his family, made it okay to come to Arizona this fall, and he paved the way for others to join him," said Miller.
That includes Josh Green, another five-star recruit and good friend of Mannion on the travel circuit. On the night of this story, Mannion broke the Pinnacle high school record by recording fifteen assists in a game.
"Nico is somebody that walks in the door with great size and athleticism, but I think a complete and total understanding of how to play the position," said Miller.
"That's just a big compliment and I really appreciate it.," said Mannion. "I'm just excited to get there and hopefully we can build our class and get our chemistry up."