From 'goofy' to player of the year

March 10, 2009 1:49:16 PM PDT
It wasn't that long ago that Ahmad Nivins was being picked on."I was the joke of the team. I was uncoordinated, goofy," Nivins said, describing himself as a high school freshman.

Instead of goofy, he's now being called a star. But, believe it or not, the Saint Joe's forward was actually a baseball player his whole life, and only started playing basketball seven years ago.

But, with a six-foot-nine frame, he was a target of the other players.

"I have been told I run like a duck. My feet go out. Just boys being boys," Nivins said.

So, how does a kid who is a goofy joke of the team become A-10 Player of the Year?

Nivins says he spent countless hours in the gym.

"He was a sponge. Anything we said he took an internalized. He was always looking for not just affirmation but he was always looking for constructive criticism," said Phil Martelli, St. Joe's head coach.

"The idea that this person doesn't think I can do that or this person doesn't think I can do this, let me prove them wrong," said Nivins.

Now, Nivins leading the A-10 in rebounds, field goal percentage, and is tied for the lead in points.

Not to mention, he'll get a shot in the NBA.

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