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November 27, 2014

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Ray Brewer: From the Pressbox

ray brewer:

In his words: Findlay Prep star says farewell, thanks Las Vegas community for support

Nigel Williams-Goss was the first four-year player in Findlay program history, went on to become a McDonald’s All-American

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Sam Morris

Findlay Prep forward Matt Willms reacts after Nigel Williams-Goss got a basket and was fouled by Bishop Gorman during their game Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at Cox Pavilion. Findlay won the game 73-61.

Findlay Prep's Nigel Williams-Goss

Findlay Prep basketball player Nigel Williams-Goss was honored at a local McDonald's Thursday, March 14, 2013, for being selected to play in the annual McDonald's All-American game. He'll become the seventh Findlay player in five years to play in the prestigious high school all-star game. Launch slideshow »

Nigel Williams-Goss, the first four-year player in Findlay Prep basketball history, certainly made his mark on the powerhouse high school program. The point guard was a McDonald’s All-American this past season and helped Findlay win a pair of ESPN National High School Invitational championships. He contacted the Sun asking if we’d publish a farewell column. He said he couldn’t leave Southern Nevada for the University of Washington without thanking the community.

I couldn’t think of someone better to take over my column space. Here’s Nigel in his own words:

I have grown to love this place and definitely think of it as my second home.

When I left Portland, Ore., for Findlay Prep, I was just 14. I was a little overwhelmed. It was not easy to leave the community I had called home my entire life, nor was it easy to leave my closest friends and family that I had grown up with.

I knew I was entering a part of my life where I would be challenged academically and athletically. I really did not know how people would respond to the kids coming from other states and countries to Findlay, and was pleasantly surprised.

When I talk about the four years I have spent in this city, one of the first things I talk about and remember are the great people who have supported me and my goals. This community embraced me as soon as I got here. As much as you all supported my commitment to UNLV, most of you understood my de-commitment when coach Lon Kruger left. You have a great coach in Dave Rice; I just did not know him at the time.

Through this whole journey, both bad and good, I have always had a feeling of support from this community. For a kid in high school, away from what they are familiar with, that means everything. I know I speak for the rest of my teammates from the past four years when I say we appreciate you, because with such a small school, we count on community support to get us going sometimes.

I want to acknowledge the people involved in the Findlay Prep program that have helped me to reach my potential. I figured since this newspaper has done such a great job covering our program, what better way to acknowledge them. Coaches Todd Simon and Mike Peck have been great coaches and mentors for me, and I will try to implement most of what they taught me when I get to college. Those two, along with assistant coaches Andy Johnson, Brett Price, Michael Smalley and Jerome Williams, have all taught me life lessons and have spent countless hours preparing me for life off the court as well as on the court, which will help me as I move away from Las Vegas.

I am forever grateful to the players and friends I have spent the past four years with. They have challenged me daily and helped to mold me into the person and player I am today. I could not have asked for a better or more challenging high school career, and it’s thanks to the people I spent time on the court with everyday. Thank you to the teachers at Henderson International as well as the administrators. Thank you to Donnie Seals for getting all of our emotions on video and sharing it with the world. Last, I want to say thank you to Cliff and Donna Findlay, who created a great program that allows us to play on such a large platform, where we have all been able to receive college scholarships and play against the best players in the country.

Leaving this town is bittersweet. I am excited about starting college at the University of Washington, but I will always feel connected to this community. I just felt compelled to make sure I thanked all of you who supported me getting to this stage. Being at Findlay for four years was not a typical high school experience, but it is one I will never regret. Thank you again for making it a great experience.

Nigel Williams-Goss, Class of 2013

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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  1. Smart kid , stay away from the Dave Rice program and you'll learn a lot more about college basketball.