Nico Mannion signs NLI for Arizona

Nico Mannion is expected to play significant minutes as a freshman with the injury of sophomore combo guard Brandon Williams.

Five-star Phoenix guard Nico Mannion is still set on playing for Arizona coach Sean Miller despite the school's move to fire assistant coach Mark Phelps, Mannion's dad said Thursday night.

Pace Mannion told the Star via text message on Thursday that Phelps played an integral role in his son's decision to sign with Arizona.

"Coach Phelps was a huge part of Nico's recruitment and we feel horrible about what is happening with him," Pace Mannion said. "Our family has nothing but respect for Coach Phelps and all the hard work he put in with Nico.

"Nico's dream is to play at U of A for Coach Miller and he is looking forward to doing that next season."

Messages sent to UA commits Josh Green and Zeke Nnaji, as well as one sent to the sister of Christian Koloko, have not been returned.

Mannion, Green and Koloko each have signed a binding letter-of-intent to play for Arizona in 2019-20, while Nnaji has given a non-binding commitment. However, appeals to be released from LOIs are sometimes given if there is change in a program.

Contact sports reporter Bruce Pascoe at 573-4146 or bpascoe@tucson.com. On Twitter @brucepascoe

Reporter

Bruce is a veteran Star sports reporter who has also worked at the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He graduated from Northwestern University and has an MBA from Thunderbird.