Without their uniforms on, some athletes would go unnoticed. Nick Simmons is certainly an exception. Standing 6-foot-7, Simmons towers over his peers at Warren County High School just as much as he does on the court in Charlie Dalton Gym.
Simmons parlayed his size and skill on the hardwood into a college career as he signed with Bryan College Tuesday to play basketball the next four years.
Simmons became the 10th Warren County senior to sign a scholarship this year, as well as the third athlete to receive a scholarship from the college located in Dayton. Lady Pioneer golfer Katelyn Davenport inked with Bryan College in January and fellow basketball player Tucker Smith signed with the Lions Tuesday as well.
Simmons started playing basketball in fifth grade, when his height was something Centertown coaches couldn’t ignore. Simmons played four years for the Warriors and finished his career with an undefeated season and tournament championship in eighth grade.
Simmons moved on to Warren County High School, where he was a three-year contributor to the Pioneer basketball team. During his career, Simmons was named All-District 6-AAA twice, including his senior year. Simmons was also named the Watertown tournament MVP as a junior when the Pioneers won the tournament.
The height of Simmons helped him get looks from college coaches, but it was his jump shot that caught the eye of Bryan College coach Don Rekoske.
“We’re really glad Nick is coming,” said Rekoske. “He’s a talented big man who can step out and shoot. We don’t mind having our bigs shoot.
“We’re going to work Nick to where he is a more physical post who can defend and rebound for us.”
While at Warren County, Simmons played a big role in helping the Pioneers reach the regional tournament in his sophomore and senior years. As a senior, Simmons had a shining moment against Coffee County at home that fans and teammates still remember. Simmons had a three-point play in the final seconds to down the Red Raiders in District 6-AAA play.
“Winning the game against Coffee County was great,” said Simmons. “I knew I was going to hit the free throw to put us ahead because I sank 100 in practice the day before.”
While playing AAU basketball for the Tennessee Magic under Roy Pankey, Simmons was able to find out more about Bryan College. Their hard-nosed style stood out to Simmons when making his decision on where to play.
“Bryan College has been looking at me for about a year,” said Simmons. “I like the intensity they play with. It’s the hardest playing team I’ve ever seen.”
Simmons plans on majoring in education at Bryan College to pursue a career as a history teacher.