Competitive Drive: Former NBA player Gaylon Nickerson tutors next generation on and off the court

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The sound of a basketball getting nothing but net can be heard in the gym at the Bel Aire Recreation Center.

It’s a place you’ll find Gaylon Nickerson.

If you know Nickerson, or ‘Skip’ as his dad nicknamed him, his success on the court goes back to the late-1980s at Wichita North High School.

“My junior year, we were fortunate enough to win the title, won the state title, went on to be Mr. Kansas MVP,” said Nickerson.

He parlayed that into a college career, beginning at Wichita State University.

That’s when Nickerson admits, things got interesting.

“I transferred from wichita State to Butler. I was like the best player at Butler then that year, All-American and everything,” said Nickerson.

That led Nickerson to Kansas State University and ultimately to the one school that let him shine on the court.

“I ended up at Northwestern Oklahoma State, and the coach gave me the total greenlight,” said Nickerson.

After averaging 22 points a game his senior season, Nickerson got the call every player dreams of in the 1994 NBA Draft.

“I ended up going 34, 34 to the Atlanta Hawks, I was there only pick that year,” said Nickerson.

In all he played four games in the 1996-97 season with the San Antonio Spurs and the Washington Bullets, a handful of seasons overseas and in other leagues until 2003.

“I played against Jordan, you know what I’m saying, I got to play against Michael Jordan, that’s one of the highlights of my career, becoming friends with Allen Iverson,” said Nickerson.

Now, Nickerson’s competitive drive is geared towards helping the younger generations.

12 years ago, he started ‘Get Your Game Tight’, which is now a non-profit organization.

The goal, to keep young basketball players on the right track, on and off the court.

“It’s on the court and off the court, it’s with your grades, it’s at your home, with your mom, respecting your mom,” said Nickerson.  “Just ready, try to help some kids and change some lives,” added Nickerson.

For more information on ‘Get Your Game Tight’, you can visit getyourgametight.com  or you can contact Nickerson at getyourgametight@gmail.com.

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