Way out west: Nywesh commits to Idaho State University

Published 6:20 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Austin senior Agwa Nywesh will never stop being an Austin Packer in his heart, but he’s paved himself a new path that runs far from his home.

Nywesh recently made his commitment to play Division I basketball at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho with an athletic scholarship. He will need to move 1,241 miles west, but Nywesh is ready to make the jump to college basketball.

“It’s the grind,” Nywesh said of his upcoming move. “We’ve got goals we want to get to and my family is behind me. They know my goals and dreams and they told me to go chase it. I’m going to go crazy with it.”

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Nywesh, a six-foot, four-inch point guard was the leader on and off the floor for the Packers, who finished with a record of 23-5 overall this season. Austin had a chance to get to its seventh state tournament in nine years, but it’s Section 1AAA title showdown with Albert Lea was called off due to the outbreak of COVID-19 last week.

Nywesh found out about the cancellation on his phone in school.

Austin’s Agwa Nywesh throwing down with authority in the first half against Rochester Century. Herald File Photo

“I was heartbroken when I found out. After class was over, I walked into Packer Gym and said ‘this is all over.’ It’s a crazy time we live in. It’s nothing we can control and that’s life. We’re living a crazy life right now,” Nywesh said.

After playing off the ball as a shooting guard for much of his career, Nywesh made the full switch to point guard this winter and he blossomed as Austin’s floor general. He averaged 14.7 points, 3.1 rebounds 4.3 assists and 4.2 steals per game in just his second season on the varsity team.

As Nywesh picked up steam, ISU’s interest increased. Now the Bengals, who went 8-22 overall last season, picture him as a rising point guard on their roster as they look to rise in the Big Sky Conference.

“They showed a lot of love and they pressed the issue. They want me as a player and to they want me to help the team out,” Nywesh said of ISU. “I’m excited to be part of it. I like being the underdog. You have to play with a chip on your shoulder and play every game with a 110 percent effort.”

Nywesh wasn’t sure he wanted to play point guard at first, but he has thrived at the position and he’s now thrilled at the prospect of playing at the Division I level. He’s learned how to break down a defense, not just for his own offense, but to set up others as well.

Nywesh has also learned to hit the books as well as the courts.

“(Going DI is) a big jump,” Nywesh said. “(Austin head coach Kris Fadness) always presses the issue about your grades. Fads has always been on me, and my family has too. Fadness is the perfect mentor growing up. He checks on you, he expects you to do great and he wants you to do great.”

Nywesh may be moving far away from Austin, but he’s moving to within 164 miles of Salt Lake City, Utah, where Austin native Both Gach will begin his junior season with the Utah Utes next year. Nywesh expects to visit Gach and he’s also not going to forget about Austin.

“Forever, go Pack,” Nywesh said.

Nywesh  also received offers from Northwest Nazarene, Winona State and Blake Hills State.

The majority of ISU’s roster includes players from Idaho.

The Bengals knocked off Northern Arizona University 64-62 in the first round of the Big Sky Conference Tournament and they were slated to play the University of Montana before the season was ended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Austin’s Agwa Nywesh reaches for the loose ball for a steal and follow-up two against Red Wing. Herald File Photo