Wilde’s Cats: Pinnacle Trio Leading On, Off Court

They’re as humble as they are honest. Each wanting to talk about the other two before themself. For Pinnacle High School senior basketball standouts Trent Brown, Jordan Mains and Nico Mannion their bond off the court is a unique one which dates back many years.

Growing up together in the Desert Ridge area they always took the floor with a purpose, even at a young age, according to their current head coach.

“I remember seeing them in middle school doing a clinic when they were in seventh grade,” Charlie Wilde said to Sports360AZ.com of his trio. “They were all diving on the floor doing a close-out drill.”

Between the lines the three are a perfect blend.

Mannion, one of the top prep players in the nation who is committed to the University of Arizona, is a dynamic, slashing point guard with incredible vision. 

Brown, the son of a coach who is playing his fourth year on varsity, is a deadly long-range shooter with the ability to play both guard spots.

Mains, the tallest of the group at 6-foot-6, is versatile enough to step outside or post up smaller defenders on the post. He’s smooth and always lets the game come to him.

All three will be playing in college next year.

“On the court we can take it to extremes because we know nothing on the court will break our friendship,” Mannion said of the three. “We know that off the court we’ll still be great friends. We can kind of police each other, give advice and know that person is still going to be my friend at the end of the day.”

After helping lead the Pioneers to a 6A State Championship earlier this year, Mannion, a year younger than Mains and Brown, reclassified partly so he could play his final season with his close friends.

“It’s super special to look to the guy next to you and know you’ve been through a lot together,” Brown reflected with a smile. “We played on the same middle school team at Mountain Trail. Jordan and I go back even further. We met on the first day of pre-school. Being able to grow up with these kids…it’s been pretty cool.”. 

However, the perfect basketball story didn’t follow script this fall. Mains’ senior season ended far too early after suffering a knee injury, technically a joint disorder called osteochondritis dissecans, which recently required surgery.

“I really felt it after I fell in the second game of the season,” Mains said to Sports360AZ.com. “It hurt at first knowing I wouldn’t get to play most of my senior year but everything happens for a reason.” 

It’s also another reason the three have drawn even closer as Mains now helps his teammates from the bench, instead of the court. His presence is a motivating factor for Pinnacle to hoist the gold ball once again in 2019.

The 12-2 ‘Neers play Moreau Catholic (CA) in Palm Springs Thursday evening.