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Nico Pearce Junior Review


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From Thessaloniki to Halifax

 

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Every sports fan in Thessaloniki, Greece knows the name Nikos Galis. Hell, nearly every basketball fan in Europe knows his name. To a young Nico Pearce, Galis and Aris Thessaloniki, the club Galis played for, became a source of inspiration. While Nico was too young to have ever watch Galis play live with the superstar retiring in 1994, 5 years before Nico was born, his father's tapes were chock full of Galis' games. From the ripe age of 5, all Nico knew was being a Thessaloniki fan, and a basketball fan to boot. Naturally, from that time, Nico's father Lander made sure a basketball was in his hands, in a father's bold dream of having a sports superstar of a child. Lander took Nico to a local park multiple times a week, just to make sure that they got plenty of practice in each week - all Nico knew as a child and into his teenage years were basketball and school.

 

While Nico could play well, he lacked a core factor essentially guaranteed to be a successful basketball player - height. By 9th grade, Nico was still only 5'8, and he had no shot of making his high school's team. In a fortunate visit to Galis Hall, the home of Aris BC, Nico stumbled upon a poster for the Thessaloniki Titans, an up and coming hockey club that had won the tournament in 2011, just 2 years earlier. As a newer program without substantial attention, Nico was able to easily land a spot in the Titans youth program. Hockey was fortunately a spot where his trained athleticism and slight stature would be an advantage, and he quickly took to skating and learning the tools of the sport.

 

However, the program eventually shut down again due to lack of funding, and Nico was still too undersized as a 5'10 12th grader to continue his pursuit for basketball. Luckily, he was accepted to St. Cloud State in Minnesota to continue his hockey career. Not only did his game develop there in all aspects, but he even grew a bit more, to a more respectable 6'0. His hands and agility were already there, almost a necessity due to his slight stature, but with his recent growth into his body, his physicality has begun to pick up as well. 

 

In his final year with St. Cloud, Halifax GM Sam @Brewins15 reached out to Nico, with an offer to play for the 21st for the rest of the S79 VHLM season. Once the St. Cloud academic year ended, Nico flew out to Halifax where he met with longtime friend Zaza Colors @McWolf , who had also agreed to join the team. It'll be a very exciting time for Nico as he pursues his career in the VHL!

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