Carthage junior Nesbitt making the most of his opportunity
KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee native and Prairie School graduate Antuan Nesbitt always liked Carthage College, but before returning to the area, he needed a little convincing from a high school teammate.
"When he told me he wanted to come here, I tried to get him here as soon as possible," says KJ Williams, a sophomore guard and Prairie School teammate. "I been playing with him for a long time. That's one of my best friends."
"I talk to KJ like every day. That's like my best friend. Even if it wasn't about basketball, we were talking. So, it always came up," said Antaun Nesbitt.
Nesbitt started his college career at Northern Michigan and transferred during his freshman season. Two years later, his full game is blossoming.
"Now, he's like a butterfly. Spreading his wings and flying basically," said Noah Howard, Carthage men's basketball assistant coach.
The last two seasons, Nesbitt has led the Firebirds in assists per game and in minutes played per game. He says it all clicked as he became comfortable in his new environment.
"As I got to know the guys, I love them all. They're all cool. And I got closer with them, closer with coach," said Nesbitt. "He always sees something within me that's a part of his game that he can take and add on to mine just to make me a better player. And I love it. Just the respect level. I know his accomplishments. I have to respect what he's saying because it worked in the same league."
"Game comes easy to him. He never takes a bad shot. An unbelievable decision maker on both ends of the floor," said Steve Djurickovic, Carthage men's basketball coach and programs all-time leading scorer. "You need to have somebody you can trust on the floor at all times and Antuan is that to a T."
With everything he does on the court, his mom, Diane's strength is with him. She is a two-time cancer survivor.
"I always wear it," said Nesbitt about the pink cancer ribbon he wears on his neck. "I bought it not too long ago as just something to keep with me. Every time I look at it, think of her. Just how strong she was getting over that. And I use it in my everyday life. If my mom could be strong enough, I can too."
The Firebirds ended November with a statement, beating top ranked UW-Whitewater at home.
"This is a big win. Just a boost to morale to the team, know that we can play big games down the line," said Nesbitt.
"We don't want it to be a one off. This can't be the highlight of our season in November. We want to keep building and building on it and hopefully play our best basketball in March," said Djurickovic.