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Nick Durham emerges as sophomore star for Alcovy basketball
Nick Durham
Nick Durham (2) has stepped up as a leader for the Tigers, even as a sophomore. - photo by Garrett Pitts

COVINGTON, Ga. — Before the season started, Alcovy boys basketball head coach Mack Hardwick wanted to establish a different culture. Leading the charge this year is sophomore star Nick Durham. 

As the year played out, Durham has even noticed a change. 

“Last year it was just selfishness and not a good combination,” Durham said. “This year we actually bonded with each other.” 

Developing a good chemistry has paved the way for Alcovy (9-16, 6-8) to finish fourth in the Region 3-AAAAAA standings.. 

Even so, Durham feels like there is still room for improvement. 

“The season has been going OK,” Durham said. “It hasn’t been as planned but not too bad. I feel like we lost a lot of close games and games we should have won.” 

A peek at Alcovy’s game results seems to support his sentiment. The Tigers lost six games during the regular season by four points or less. Granted, all but one of those — a 78-74 loss at Morrow on Jan. 20 — were non-region contests. But if the Tigers find a way to win those games, perhaps the confidence level is higher heading into region play.

Nevertheless, Durham has a lifetime’s worth of experience that has helped him to lead the Tigers now and moving forward. 

He first picked up a basketball at 4 years old.  Since then, the game has been ingrained into his personality. 

“Basketball has always been with me ever since I was a baby,” Durham said. “Plus, most of my family played, so it runs in my family.” 

Having many family members play in the game has helped Durham develop his individual skill set. 

But now in his high school career, Durham wants to take it up a notch. 

“Really, I’m just learning how to lead a team and be a leader and show that I can be that guy,” Durham said. “Personally, I would say I’m working on locking people down and scoring.” 

Improving his own game isn’t what drives Durham to excel, though. It’s something that transcends basketball. 

“My family motivates me,” Durham said. “Nobody in my family went big so I want to be the first and really wanna lookout for them.” 

Alcovy plays in the Region 3-AAAAAA tournament on Saturday, Feb. 11 against Rockdale County at 1:30 p.m. The Tigers bested the Bulldogs in the teams’ first regular season matchup with Rockdale getting the win in the second go round. 

Despite the ups and downs, being part of the team this season has been a thrill for Durham. 

“Really, I enjoy just being able to play with my brothers and people I've been playing with most of my life,” Durham said. “And we have a good coaching staff.” 

Even so, Durham and the Tigers are eager to extend their season, not only in the region tournament, but also advancing to the state tournament. 

Durham highlighted how he believes Alcovy basketball can accomplish both. 

“It’s going to take dedication and focus mainly as a team,” Duham said. “Moving forward I can get better at really everything but the most I’m really working on is my athleticism and getting bigger, stronger and faster.”