Josiah Allick might be considered a late bloomer on the basketball court.
The Lincoln North Star senior didn't really start to take the game seriously until his freshman year for the Gators. He played freshman ball, then reserves and finally started to take off last year, according to coach Tony Quattrocchi.
"He's kind of a late developer. By the end of last year, he was getting equal minutes of varsity and junior varsity and we expect him to be a big contributor this year," said Quattrocchi. "He had good summer and he's worked extremely hard in the weight room. He's one of our stronger players and his vertical jump is in the 30s.
"He can score around the basket, rebound, protect the rim and he's also a very good three-point shooter for us. His best basketball is beyond high school."
Allick said he approaches the game a little like he would a job.
"I like the competitive aspect. You put in the work and master your craft," Allick said. "I think that's the mindset more players should have. Some think that if they're not starting, they're not part of the team. When you sit the first quarter, you see their tendencies, right or left dominated. Watching the starters get their first take and you see what you can do to deal with that.
"Last year, my role was not as big as it's going to be this year. You take what minutes you get and make the most of them and prove to your coaches why your should get more."
Allick, who has a 3.6 grade-point average and is taking four advanced placement classes -- biology, calculus, psychology and computer science -- said he applies his learning skills to the basketball court.
"There are so many different ways to score or impact the game -- defense, rebounding, making good passes," he said. "And if you are on the bench, you can learn. The greater your knowledge, the greater your skill is at the game."
One other advantage for Allick and the Gators is junior guard Donovan Williams, who has already committed to a Nebraska scholarship.
"We assume everybody will double-team Donovan, so Josiah will provide many parts of the puzzle for us," said Quattrocchi. "Donovan opens a lot of things for other players, in particular Josiah. There's a big trust factor already. Those two along with one other will probably be our leaders. We hope Jared Lopez, a junior, steps into that role as well."
"Donovan is a super talent. With how far out his range is, you have to guard him, and then when he drives and it's one-on-one, he's going to make it," Allick said. "The lane will open up, and he'll have the ability to have drop-offs. We have a better bond than we had last year and more trust in each other."