Nichols Park, a safe haven for basketball players

Sports Writer

With over 13 years of coaching experience in the game of basketball, coach Mike Hill, an employee of Nichols Park Community Center, 1355 E. 53rd St., has impacted so many lives throughout his career in the Amateur Athletics Union (AAU) circuit. But in spite of his influence, Hill believes that the park facility is the main reason why the young men flock to the program.

“We are here every Tuesday and Thursday night from 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.,” said Hill, who is the head coach of AAU basketball at Nichols Park. “We teach our players fundamentals, scrimmages and the importance of team work. We put heavy emphasis on that.”

Hill, a resident of Hyde Park, said he enjoys watching his young guys compete on a weekly basis. Especially after witnessing some of the most prominent names of today’s game rise through the ranks of their program in such stunning fashion. These players include Paul White of Georgetown University, Stephen Williams of Kenwood Academy High School and a host of other AAU prospects who have moved on to do better things in life.

Hill also marveled at the conduct and behavior of the players within the community. He explained that most guys that visit the gym have a strong work ethic and take advantage of the coaching advice that’s around them as they go about their business on a daily basis.

“This is a safe haven for most guys,” Hill said. “It’s free for everybody to come.”

For more information on Nichols Park AAU team, please visit their facility at 1355 E. 53rd St.