LeBryan Nash's big personality — and big skills — were on full display Monday night at the McDonald's All-American Jam Fest in Chicago.
Nash trotted out that massive foam cowboy hat, the same one he donned when he signed a letter-of-intent with Oklahoma State back in November. Then he wore it while soaring to the dunk contest title.
“I try to be creative, give the fans what they want, a show,” Nash told reporters afterward. “My mama told me to get (the hat). You gotta listen to your mama.”
The Cowboys' offense could use some pizazz following a season of struggle. And, coach Travis Ford said, they'll take the personality, too, with it all part of the package for one of OSU's most anticipated recruits ever.
“The big thing is,” Ford said, “everybody likes him. You saw everybody gravitating to him on TV, everybody just gravitates to him when he goes to all these camps. Everybody likes him.”
A 6-foot-7, 5-star recruit from Dallas, Nash became the second Cowboys signee to win the competition, following Gerald Green, the 2005 dunk champ. Green never made it to campus, opting instead to enter the NBA Draft.
Nash is on track to become the highest-rated recruit to ever wear an OSU uniform, ranked as the nation's No. 4 prospect by Rivals.com, No. 6 by ESPNU.com and No. 8 by Scout.com. A McDonald's All-American, he's been named second-team All-American by Parade Magazine.
Clearly, he's the next big thing for Cowboy basketball.
And he's got the oversized hat to prove it, although Ford said the hat isn't anything necessary to accommodate an oversized ego.
“There's always that challenge when you bring a guy of his reputation and stature in,” Ford said. “But I tell you, I don't fear that at all because of the players on our basketball team. We've got some great leaders — Keiton (Page), Fred Gulley, Brian Williams, Michael Cobbins, I can go down the line — of very high character personalities that he's going to be surrounded by.