Nick Minnerath RumorsAll NBA Players
And after high school, on Cape Cod where he was raised, when the wealthy summer people leave and the days get shorter, what were his prospects? Not just for basketball, but for life? “There’s nobody there,” Minnerath, now 27, says. “It’s cold. There’s literally nothing to do — except the wrong thing … and I was doing the wrong thing.” That would be drugs — and lots of them. Cocaine, especially. For two years after high school, Minnerath says, he did coke and bounced around low-wage jobs — construction, driving a cab, ringing up customers at the Cumberland Farms. Those are two crucial years when elite players star in college or head to the NBA. Minnerath lost them.
“You get to a point where you get strung out enough, when you wake up every day and don’t like what you’re doing,” Minnerath says. “You don’t like who you are. You look in the mirror and you’re disgusted with yourself, really.” Hardly anyone becomes an elite basketball player by taking up the game seriously at age 20. It happens from time to time in countries where organized basketball programs aren’t widespread. Not in the U.S.
Minnerath drove nearly 900 miles for an informal tryout — basically a pickup game with coaches watching. It didn’t take long to convince Finamore that Minnerath was a gifted player. “After about two or three minutes watching him running up the floor, I looked at my assistant coach and said, ‘We have to offer him a scholarship right now,’ ” Finamore says.
He helped lead the Canton Charge to the Eastern Conference finals of the D-League playoffs. He was named to the D-League’s all-league second team. Joel Abelson, who scouts for the New York Knicks, called him a “really interesting player” who’s turned a lot of heads. But those turned heads didn’t get Minnerath to the NBA this season. “It’s definitely frustrating,” he says, to be so close and not get called up. He says he won’t return to the D-League to play for $19,000 again.