Nicolas René


Laith Annab

Nicolas René signs his contract with the United States Air Force Academy.

Hailey Grizzaffi, Writer

Senior Nicolas (Nick) René is a current four-year varsity basketball superstar and future athlete at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

René has been playing basketball since he was two years old. He tried out for his first official team at the age of five per the request of his father.

“I didn’t want to try out for the team,” René said. “But my dad threatened to take away my Spiderman suit and give it to another kid if I didn’t at least try it out.”

For René, the Air Force Academy was too great of an opportunity to turn down.

“The academics are top notch, comparable to Ivy League Schools, and the athletics are just as good,” he said. “On top of that, the campus is absolutely beautiful, and the athletic training facilities are second to none.”

René is the only incoming freshman to be rising straight to the varsity team this upcoming school year.

“My body of work academically is what allowed me to be accepted straight in,” he said. “The coach’s belief that I am physically ready is what will enable me to go straight to the varsity level.”

He says his high school coaches have always pushed him to reach his full potential, and is now training with Coach Jasmine Cannon to improve conditioning and get ready for the next level.

“Since my freshman year, [my coaches] have always helped to emphasize a healthy balance of basketball as well as school,” he said. “Without them, I certainly would not be the same person I am today.”

René’s friends notice the way he has risen above his peers and shown that he stands out.

“I’ve known Nick since freshman year and he’s always had a great work ethic in class and on the court,” senior Travis Wortham said. “He’s been an amazing role model for other students.”

René’s younger brother, Noah, has Down’s Syndrome. He frequently captions his photos on social media with #4Noah.

“#4Noah is a hashtag I started in the eighth grade that basically just gives me a reason why I give the effort I do both in the classroom and the court,” René said. “I am living and playing for both Noah and myself.”