Amir Nesbitt spent one season with the Miller boys basketball program, but his contribution to the program was off the charts.
Nesbitt averaged 14 points, six assists and five rebounds a game in his only season on the Hill and led the Mavericks to the VISAA Division II state quarterfinals. He earned second-team Virginia Independent Conference honors and took home the team’s leadership award.
The senior guard hopes to provide a similar spark at the next level after verbally committing to play at Hampton University.
“Hampton was the first school to see my potential and they offered me my first Division I scholarship,” Nesbitt said. “It is my mom’s and godfather’s alma mater. The biggest reason though was my immediate connection to Coach [Buck] Joyner. His vision is clear to me.”
Nesbitt is no stranger to playing on the big stage. A year ago, he represented the U.S. Virgin Islands at the FIBA World Cup of Basketball and played against professional teams from Brazil and Cuba. His parents were born and raised in the Virgin Islands, which made him eligible to participate.
He was born in the U.S. and transferred to Miller from the Hampton Roads area at the beginning of the school year and was a consistent contributor. Those qualities made him an attractive fit for a Hampton team that reached the Big South Conference championship game last month.
“I can tell Coach Buck Joyner is a no-nonsense coach, but he will commit to my success,” Nesbitt said. “I also like that he has had a long career at Hampton and been successful.”
Nesbitt’s versatility in the backcourt make him a strong fit for a Pirates team that likes to push the tempo. He’s projected to compete for minutes as a combo guard.
“What was appealing to them about me is I am strong at both the point guard and shooting guard positions,” he said. “But I have also played overseas in a men’s league, so I come with a certain level of maturity, even though I would be a freshman.”
In the classroom, Nesbitt plans to major in business management and minor in sports management.
“I want to be involved in sports management in some capacity after college, possibly through owning my own business,” Nesbitt said. “My goals are to focus, work overtime to balance it all — academics and basketball — and help my team grab that championship.”
Nesbitt said he had interest from as many as 10 programs during the recruiting process, including North Texas, VCU, Stetson, Stony Brook, Radford, Loyola (Maryland), Bryant, James Madison and Oral Roberts, before finding a home with the Pirates.
“Truthfully, it was not difficult at all because I knew what I was looking for in a coach,” Nesbitt said. “I knew I did not mind being close to home and having my family see me play at all my home games. It was a no-brainer after I had my first conversation with Coach Joyner. With all that’s going on right now in the world, being at Hampton felt right.”
Nesbitt admitted that the COVID-19 pandemic has made things tough for athletes to find opportunities so late in the recruiting process.
“It’s rough out there right now for seniors, especially unsigned ones,” he said. “It’s like life as we know it has change and everyone is trying to figure things out. This to me is a big blessing for me and a weight lifted.”
The stars did align for Nesbitt and he is very grateful.
“I dreamed of this,” Nesbitt said. “I knew I wanted it when I started playing with Lamont Strothers at the age of 8. I claimed it and worked hard and God did the rest for me. It means a whole lot. It’s a blessing I don’t take lightly.”