Nico Mannion

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Nico Mannion
Arizona Wildcats
PositionPoint guard
LeaguePac-12 Conference
Personal information
Born (2001-03-14) March 14, 2001 (age 18)
Siena, Italy
NationalityItalian / American
Listed height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High schoolPinnacle (Phoenix, Arizona)
CollegeArizona (2019–present)
Career highlights and awards

Niccolò "Nico" Mannion (born March 14, 2001) is an Italian-American basketball player who attends Pinnacle High School in Phoenix, Arizona. He is committed to Arizona Wildcats of the Pac-12 Conference. Mannion plays for the Italian national team.

Early life[edit]

Nico was born in Siena, Italy to Gaia Bianchi and Pace Mannion, where he spent his early years before his family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, and finally settled in Phoenix, Arizona.

High school career[edit]

As a freshman, Mannion began playing basketball for Pinnacle High School in Phoenix, Arizona under head coach Charlie Wilde.[1] On February 9, 2017, he featured in a Sports Illustrated article, "A 15-Year-Old (Sorta-Maybe) Basketball Prodigy."[2] Mannion started in all 28 of his game, averaging 20.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.4 steals per game while leading Pinnacle to a 22–6 record.[3] He was named MaxPreps first team All-American and Arizona Republic Class 6A first team All-State.[4] Entering his sophomore season, Mannion was named to the USA Today All-USA Arizona preseason team. He missed his first four games with a broken left hand.[5][6] On February 28, 2018, Mannion scored 21 points in a 76–60 win over Mountain Pointe High School for the Class 6A state championship.[7] He finished the season averaging 23.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game, leading Pinnacle to a 24–7 record.[8] Mannion received MaxPreps Sophomore All-American third team and Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year distinction.[9]

He took online summer courses to be able to graduate in the following spring.[10] On December 1, Mannion scored 37 points, including the game-winning three-pointer, in an 82–80 victory over Shadow Mountain High School, who had won 73 straight games against Arizona opponents.[11][12] MaxPreps writer Jordan Divens said that Mannion's performance in the game "will go down in Arizona high school basketball lore."[11] Five days later, Mannion recorded 33 points and 12 assists in a nationally televised game against top recruit Jalen Green and San Joaquin Memorial High School at the Hoophall West Invitational.[13] On December 30, he scored 45 points in an 88–78 loss to Mater Dei High School at the Rancho Mirage Holiday Invitational National Division championship.[14] Mannion, on February 2, 2019, tallied 57 points, including the game-winning shot as time expired, to help defeat Chaparral High School.[15] On February 27, he led Pinnacle to a second Class 6A state title, posting 34 points, eight rebounds, and six assists in an 83–64 win over Chaparral High School.[16] By the end of the season, Mannion was averaging 30.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game.[17] He reclaimed the Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year award and was recognized as National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) Senior Athlete of the Year.[18][19] Mannion also earned USA Today All-USA second team and Naismith All-American third team honors.[17][20] In the spring, he played in the McDonald's All-American Game and Nike Hoop Summit.[21][22]


Mannion was considered the top player in the 2020 recruiting class by, and ESPN. But he reclassified to the 2019 class. Mannion received his first college basketball offer from Cal State Northridge while in eighth grade.[23] In high school, he picked up offers from several major NCAA Division I programs, including Duke and Villanova.[24] Mannion was a consensus five-star recruit and the best recruit from Arizona in the 2019 class.[25][26] On September 14, 2018, he committed to Arizona over Marquette.[27]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Nico Mannion
Phoenix, AZ Pinnacle 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 180 lb (82 kg) Sep 14, 2018 
Recruiting star ratings: ScoutN/A   Rivals:5/5 stars   247Sports:5/5 stars    ESPN:5/5 stars   ESPN grade: 96
Overall recruiting rankings:   Rivals: 14  247Sports: 8  ESPN: 9
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


  • "Arizona 2019 Basketball Commitments". Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  • "2019 Arizona Wildcats Recruiting Class". Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  • "2019 Team Ranking". Retrieved April 5, 2019.

College career[edit]

In September 2018, Mannion signed his NLI to the University of Arizona for basketball. He was selected for the 2019 McDonald's All American Game, along with fellow UA recruit Josh Green.

National team career[edit]

Mannion holds dual citizenship to the United States and Italy; his father is American, while his mother is Italian.[3][28] In 2017, he joined training camp with the United States national under-16 team and was a finalist for its 2017 FIBA Under-16 Americas Championship roster.[3][29] After not making the team, he was contacted by the Italian Basketball Federation and joined the Italian national under-16 team at the 2017 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship in Podgorica, Montenegro.[29][30] Mannion made his debut on August 11, 2017, recording 15 points and seven assists in a 64–59 loss to France.[31] Two days later, he posted 42 points, five rebounds, and six steals in 29 minutes in an 86–57 victory over Russia.[32] Through seven games, Mannion averaged a tournament-high 19.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 3.0 steals per game, leading Italy to a ninth-place finish.[33][34]

He debuted for the senior Italian national team at European qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.[35] In his sole appearance on July 1, 2018, Mannion scored nine points in 29 minutes in an 81–66 loss to the Netherlands, becoming the fourth-youngest player in team history at age 17.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Mannion's father Pace Mannion is a former National Basketball Association (NBA) player who played for six different NBA teams through the 1980s.[36] He played professionally for various teams in Italy until his retirement in 2002.[37][38] Most notably, he helped Italian club Pallacanestro Cantù win the 1991 FIBA Korać Cup.[29] Mannion's mother Gaia Bianchi is a former volleyball player who played for the Italian national volleyball team.[39]


  1. ^ "Recruiting Update: Nico Mannion (2020)". PrepHoops. June 12, 2016. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  2. ^ Ballard, Chris (February 9, 2017). "A 15-Year-Old (Sorta-Maybe) Basketball Prodigy". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Nico Mannion". USA Basketball. June 4, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  4. ^ "2016-17 MaxPreps Boys Basketball Freshman All-American Team". MaxPreps. April 18, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  5. ^ Obert, Richard (November 22, 2017). "Top 50 Arizona high school boys basketball players mid-season rankings". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  6. ^ Obert, Richard (November 21, 2017). "American Family Insurance ALL-USA Arizona preseason boys basketball team 2017-18". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  7. ^ Obert, Richard (February 28, 2018). "Pinnacle boys basketball dominates Mountain Pointe for 6A title". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  8. ^ Divens, Jordan (April 17, 2018). "2017-18 MaxPreps Boys Basketball Sophomore All-American Team". MaxPreps. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  9. ^ "Nico Mannion 2017 - 2018 Arizona Boys Basketball Player of the Year". Gatorade. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  10. ^ West, Jenna (July 20, 2018). "Five-Star Recruit Nico Mannion Reclassifies From 2020 to 2019 Class". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Divens, Jordan (November 30, 2018). "Nico Mannion, Pinnacle knock off No. 13 Shadow Mountain to snap 73-game Arizona win streak". MaxPreps. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  12. ^ "Mannion's buzzer-beater lifts Pinnacle past Shadow Mountain". The Arizona Republic. November 30, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  13. ^ Obert, Richard (December 6, 2018). "Nico Mannion puts on a show against top-rated Jalen Green in Pinnacle rout". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  14. ^ John, Andrew L. (December 30, 2018). "Mater Dei overcomes Nico Mannion's 45 points to win Rancho Mirage Invitational title". The Desert Sun. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  15. ^ Pascoe, Bruce (February 2, 2019). "Arizona Wildcats signee Nico Mannion scores 57 in high school senior night game". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  16. ^ Kelapire, Ryan (February 26, 2019). "Nico Mannion, Pinnacle capture second straight 6A state championship". Arizona Desert Swarm. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  17. ^ a b Obert, Richard (April 8, 2019). "Pinnacle's Nico Mannion receives national basketball honor". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  18. ^ Potter, Mattie (April 8, 2019). "Arizona's Mannion named 2018-2019 Boys' Basketball Athlete of the Year". National High School Coaches Association. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  19. ^ Rosen, David (March 15, 2019). "Nico Mannion repeats as Gatorade Arizona Boys Basketball Player of the Year". Zona Zealots. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  20. ^ "2018-19 ALL-USA High School Boys Basketball: Second Team". USA Today High School Sports. April 2, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  21. ^ Kelapire, Ryan (March 27, 2019). "Josh Green, Nico Mannion score 8 points apiece in McDonald's All-American Game". Arizona Desert Swarm. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  22. ^ Obert, Richard (April 14, 2019). "People react to Arizona Wildcats-bound Nico Mannion putting on a show at Nike Hoop Summit". USA Today High School SPorts. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  23. ^ Bossi, Eric (June 4, 2017). "Sharp shooting 2020 PG Nico Mannion holds several offers". Rivals. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  24. ^ "Nico Mannion". ESPN. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  25. ^ "Nico Mannion, Pinnacle, Point Guard". Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  26. ^ "Nico Mannion, 2019 Point guard". Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  27. ^ Biancardi, Paul (September 14, 2018). "No. 2 PG recruit Nico Mannion chooses Arizona over Marquette". ESPN. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  28. ^ Costa, Dario (August 14, 2018). "Born ready - The Story of Nico Mannion". Sporting News. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  29. ^ a b c "Not making USA team gives Mannion shot at U17 Basketball World Cup with Italy". FIBA. August 14, 2017. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  30. ^ a b "Italian teen phenom Nico Mannion leaves lasting impression on senior national team debut in World Cup Qualifiers". FIBA. July 4, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  31. ^ Gershon, Josh (August 12, 2017). "FIBA u16 A: Four-star PG Nico Mannion impresses with Italy". Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  32. ^ "Manion scored 42 points in 29 minutes". EuroHoops. August 14, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  33. ^ "Nico Mannion Player Profile". RealGM. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  34. ^ Obert, Richard (August 28, 2017). "Nico Mannion narrows college choices to Arizona, Marquette". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  35. ^ Pascoe, Bruce (September 22, 2018). "He just wants to win: Future Wildcat Nico Mannion doesn't let anything get in his way". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  36. ^ "Pace Mannion Stats". Sports Reference. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  37. ^ Melloni, Mirco (August 14, 2017). "L'Italia ha il suo Mamba: la storia di Nico Mannion, fenomeno delle giovanili azzurre". La Stampa (in Italian). Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  38. ^ Frangipani, Niccolò (August 11, 2018). "Astri Nascenti nel Basket: Nico Mannion, the italian stallion". Vita Sportiva. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  39. ^ Boivin, Paola (December 14, 2016). "Boivin: Pinnacle freshman Nico Mannion creating national buzz". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved April 30, 2019.