This story is part of a series recognizing the top high school athletes in Barren County for the 2018-19 school year as chosen by the Glasgow Daily Times.
GLASGOW — Nik Sorrell, a rising senior point guard at Glasgow High School, has led the Scotties to two straight District 15 titles, and he is the 2018-19 Walbert Trucking Boys’ Basketball Athlete of the Year.
Sorrell said he first became interested in basketball when he was “growing up as a little kid.”
“My dad playing sports, just wanted to follow in his footsteps,” Sorrell said, adding that he also observed NBA players while developing as a player. “Just take little pieces from their game and try to put it in mine.”
The Scottie guard said his current favorite pro team is the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I’m a LeBron (James) type of guy,” Sorrell said with a smile. “He can play 1-5, guard everybody — I just want to do that same thing.”
When he began playing for Glasgow High School is when Sorrell started to become serious about the game, he said.
“Freshman year, I thought that this is something that I want to do,” Sorrell said.
As a junior last season for the Scotties, Sorrell scored a team-high 602 points — averaging 19.4 points per game — while grabbing a team-high 274 rebounds — averaging 8.8 rebounds per game.
Glasgow (21-11) defeated Allen County-Scottsville 61-56 in the 15th District championship game for back-to-back district titles.
When Sorrell was cutting down the net after the victory, he was wearing an “ALL IN 4 SPEN” shirt in memory of Spenser Bradley, his cousin who passed away after a battle with cancer.
Sorrell said the last thing he remembers telling Bradley was “I’m going to go out and do what I can for you.”
“Back-to-back champions," Sorrell said at the time. "It means a lot."
Looking back at his high school career so far, Sorrell said his favorite memory has been winning those two district titles, and that this accomplishment was a great way to honor the memory of Bradley.
“I just wish he would have been there to see it,” Sorrell said. “But I know he’s in a better place right now, and it really touched me to win back-to-back.”
Looking toward his senior season, Sorrell said he hopes to win another district championship, make a run in the region tournament, “and try to make a run at state if we can.”
Sorrell is also currently playing for the Kentucky Vision AAU team.
“It’s helping me a lot,” he said. “Getting exposure through seeing coaches watching me play. It’s really helped me a lot.
“The competition, it’s crazy how good it is, and I love great competition. It motivates me.”
The rising senior has also learned a great deal from Glasgow coach James Willett, Sorrell said.
“Coach Willett, he’s a big part of me growing up as a ball player,” Sorrell said. “What he sees in me is just kind of more than what other people see in me.”
Willett said Sorrell demonstrates great leadership on and off the court.
“He does a really good job of interacting with his teammates and his classmates,” Willett said. “He’s been our starting point guard since he was a freshman.
“He is really synonymous with the program that I’ve tried to establish since I’ve been here. He’s a floor leader and usually makes all the right decisions on the court. As a head coach, that’s just kind of what you’re looking for all the time — put the ball in somebody’s hands and you don’t have to worry about anything.”
Willett said as far as Sorrell’s work ethic, “he puts in all the work on the court with us, and he’s also able to be a self-starter and do stuff outside of the gym.”
“He does a lot of work on his own,” the Scottie coach said. “A lot of work with his dad and other family members and friends.”
Sorrell said he tries to improve his game as much as possible.
“I want to get better every single day,” he said. “During the season, I’d say (I work) on everything, from shooting, dribbling — each day there is a way to improve.
“In the offseason, I’m still doing the same thing. There’s not a set thing I want to get better, I just want to work on each, individual thing every day.”
When asked what advice he would give to young, aspiring basketball players, Sorrell said to “keep working hard.”
“Don’t let people tell you that you can’t make it,” he said. “If you want to follow your dream, then follow your dream.”
In a hypothetical game situation where the Scotties are down by two points with the last possession, Sorrell said he wants the ball in his hands.
“If we’re down two points, there’s no reason to go for a 3 to win the game,” he said. “So I’m going to get my man leaning one way, take him back the other and go for a bucket.
“Tie the game and send it to overtime.”
Sorrell said his Scottie teammates are like family.
“It’s a brotherhood,” he said. “Nobody knows what happens behind the doors. They’re just brothers to me.”