NMMI Sports Press
Bronco big man Nehemiah Mabson is headed back to the region he hails from, as the Kentucky native signed his Letter of Intent to attend the University of Tennessee Martin. And while basketball is obviously the big reason he picked the Skyhawks, there are other reasons as well.
“It sets me up to better my future as far as education and being a pro, which is my dream,” he said.
Mabson will study sports management with an eye on eventually becoming a coach, but before that, he’d like to continue to play ball.
“NBA or professional. It doesn’t matter. Get paid for what I like to do,” he said.
UTM is an NCAA D-I school in the Ohio Valley Conference, and under interim head coach Anthony Stewart, the Skyhawks finished 21-13 in 2014-15 and 20-15 this past season, closing out the season in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
“He made a great choice,” said Bronco coach Ralph David. “They play in the Ohio Valley Conference, and it fits his style of play. They have a great staff over there. They’ve had a lot of success and it’s also important for him to have the opportunity to perform in the tournament.”
Stewart is happy to have signed the 6-6, 250-pound forward.
“Nehemiah is a great kid who is skilled both inside and out,” Stewart said. “He posted good numbers in junior college and he also had Division-I experience. He will be a key part of our program moving forward. I’m really excited that he’s my first commitment.”
Mabson only played a year for NMMI, but Davis said he will be missed.
“First and most importantly, he is a great young man off the court. The type of guy you want to interact with and know aside from basketball. I think most of this school community would agree in their interactions with him, so it was a pleasure to have him with us, unfortunately for just one year, but we definitely enjoyed it.”
“He’s a great kid, and he really grew immensely as far as mental toughness on the floor and becoming a better teammate this year,” said assistant coach Jake White. “Seeing where we got him in the fall to where he is now, it’s almost a, I won’t give him a 180 degree change, but it’s like 165. He’s almost there, so he definitely grew as a young man, and just like coach Davis said, he’s a great guy off the court.”
Mabson credits a lot of his growth, both personally and in basketball, to the Institute.
“NMMI has given me a lot of structure, as far as the corps,” he said. “The coaches are great. They set me up the best way possible to pursue my dream as far as getting back to the DI level. Also NMMI has taught me a lot about adversity. Our record wasn’t the best this year, but we kept playing hard throughout the season regardless of our record. It just taught me to keep going.”
The sophomore led the Broncos in scoring with 15.6 points per game, and rebounding (5.8 per game.) He expects to step onto the court as a starter for the Skyhawks, and with a brother who played in the NFL, Davis is confident he can make it as far as his dreams take him.
“It’s in his blood,” Davis said. “Now that’s football, and if you’ve seen the kid play, being 6-6 and 245, he’s probably playing the wrong sport. But that being said, he does have a wealth of natural talent. If he puts his mind to it, there’s no doubt he can accomplish some of his goals.”
“The good thing about him is he really wants to be successful, so we hope everything works out,” White agreed. “Like coach said, (UTM) is the best of his options, and if he goes in with the right mindset, he should be a very successful student-athlete.”