FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Standing at just under 7 feet tall, it's as though Nico Carvacho was born to play basketball.
"I never really had a growth spurt," says the Colorado State University junior power forward. "I kind of just grew gradually every few years and stopped at 6'11"."
It's not just the height; he's got the passion for the game, too.
"It's been fun to watch the work he's put in," says CSU men's basketball coach Niko Medved. "I think he's really grown in the way he looks at himself as a player."
"From a young age, I always was an effort player," adds Carvacho. "Doing all the extra things, diving on the floor, getting rebounds, getting extra shots for my team."
But the hardwood hasn't always been his only love. His dad grew up in Chile and went on to play professional soccer. Nico followed in his footsteps to the pitch.
"My dad has a couple of teams that he coaches, so I go out there and put on the cleats and trained with his players sometimes," Carvacho explains. "Soccer could've been a future, but you know, 6'11"."
Eventually, when he was a growing teenager, Nico traded in his cleats for sneakers full time.
"My mom was ecstatic. She played college basketball, so basketball is what she wanted me to do. My dad took a little while to come to the realization of it, but I think he knows I made the right decision now."
Carvacho's success on the court is hard to argue with. He's been dominant on the glass all season and leads the nation in rebounding. He's also averaging a double double, with more than 16 points a game to go along with 12 rebounds.
"If he just continues to put in the work and grow, I think he's got a big ceiling still," Medved says of his star player.
As Nico continues to grow in the sport, he's giving his parents plenty to be proud of.
"They tell me not to let up and keep on doing it," he says. "It's easy to get to the top, it's hard to stay at the top. They keep me grounded and hungry and humble."AlertMe