Saint Peter’s redshirt junior guard Nick Griffin recently reflected on having to sit out the 2015-16 campaign after transferring from George Washington University.
“It was tough,” said Griffin, a Rockville native and former All-Sentinel player from Magruder. “That year off helped me develop my game even more.”
Griffin’s hard work during the year off paid dividends last month when the George Washington transfer scored a team-high 16 points in his first start of the season despite suffering a 63-55 loss to nationally ranked Notre Dame.
Griffin and the Peacocks invaded Xfinity Center in College Park on Dec. 10 with a horde full of local supporters for the contest against the University of Maryland.
“It was great to have him play again close to home,” said Vivian Griffin, Nick’s mother, who estimated there were more than 50 friends and family members in attendance that day including her husband and Nick’s father, Lawrence.
The Magruder basketball staff, including head coach Dan Harwood and assistants Tony Giles and Kenny Lincoln, were also among the supporters at the game.
“It’s just great to have that type of fan support,” said Nick Griffin, who came off the bench to score 12 points in the Peacocks’ 66-56 loss to the Terrapins.
Saint Peter’s competes in the eleven-member Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference alongside the likes of Canisius, Fairfield, Iona, Manhattan, Marist, Monmouth, Niagara, Quinnipiac, Rider and Siena.
“Every game in the MAAC, we just have to come prepared to play,” said Griffin, who scored 10 points in the Peacocks’ 58-54 victory over Quinnipiac on Monday night.
During his tenure at Magruder, Griffin earned a reputation as one of Montgomery County’s top threepoint specialists. The 6-foot, 2-inch shooting guard led the Colonels to a 26-1 record, including the Maryland 4A state championship, while averaging 17 points per game during his junior campaign at the Rockville public school.
Griffin said he tries to stay in touch with high school teammates Garland Owens (Boston College) and Justin Witmer (Salisbury), who played on Magruder’s state championship team five years ago.
Griffin played AAU basketball for Team Takeover, where he competed alongside Josh Hart (Villanova), BeeJay Anya (N.C. State), Ishmail Wainright (Baylor) and Lennard Freeman (N.C. State) among others.
“It was great to play against those guys,” said Griffin. “We follow each other on social media and things like that, so that’s another way to interact with them.”
The Rockville native has brought a winning mentality to the Saint Peter’s men’s basketball program and plans to help the Peacocks compete for a league title.
“That’s one of our biggest goals down the right,” he said.
The future certainly looks bright for Griffin, who could embark on a career playing professional basketball once his college days are over.
“He’s only a junior right now, so maybe overseas someday,” said Harwood. “Nick’s not a great player; he’s a great shooter.”