As the large group of official Nebraska basketball visitors stood on the sidelines in the southeast corner of Memorial Stadium ahead of Saturday night’s home football game against Northwestern, the student section began chanting the names. of the rookies and to encourage the head coach. Fred hoiberg.
That’s all Sergio wilcher, father of the current NU freshman CJ Wilcher and Husker 2023 five-star visitor Simeon Wilcher, needed to move forward and increase the energy a notch.
After he was done pumping the crowd and throwing the “bones” at the crowd, Sergio and Simeon continued their memorable weekend in Lincoln during Simeon’s official visit.
“Oh man, that was amazing,” Sergio said. “You really get a taste of what sport means at Lincoln. When I got there on Friday I said, “I have to hurry and change because I have to put on this hoodie (Nebraska) because I’m the only guy in town without a Nebraska shirt.” You know? Moms, grandmothers, babies – entire families were red.
“It’s an incredible feeling. We have a lot of sports here. You have two football teams (NFL), three hockey teams (NHL), two baseball teams (MLB), so everyone has a different team. So it’s really different to experience that. You hear people talking about it, but to be in the stadium with so many people applauding for the same cause, it was extremely impressive.
The visit marked the second time in four months that Simeon and his family had been on the NU campus, as they were in town for an unofficial visit in early June while helping CJ move to Lincoln.
Sergio said that while their first trip this summer was great, this weekend was a whole different experience.
Taking in one of Nebraska’s best home football game environments in recent memory was one thing. But on Friday night, there was the basketball team’s “Opening Night” event at Pinnacle Bank Arena, where they watched CJ make his unofficial debut with Husker in front of nearly 7,000 fans.
“I mean, it was just an exhibition game, and people got us so excited,” Sergio said. “Some of the best things I’ve heard – I walked out of the arena afterwards and heard cheerleaders talking to each other about their excitement for the basketball season. I felt great about that, that energy and that positivity.
“Then people from the hotel came to talk to us and I told them that my son was playing there. They would ask: “What is his name? And I said “CJ” And they said “Oh yeah! It’s crazy for such a big city. I had no questions (about fan support), but if it did, all of the boxes were checked.
Ranked 15th overall and considered one of the country’s top leaders in the 2023 class, Simeon has his pick of almost every college program in the country.
North Carolina, UCLA, Oregon, Kansas, UConn, Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, and Syracuse are just a few schools that have recently sought his services.
But while Nebraska may not have the same tradition or pedigree as some of the other contenders on their roster, Sergio has made it clear that the Huskers are firmly in the mix due to the relationships they’ve established in the past. over the past three years.
“Nebraska will always be an option for Simeon,” Sergio said. “It’s not even a question because of the way basketball adapts, our relationship with Matt (Abdelmassih), and we’ve been chatting with Coach Hoiberg since CJ was in high school in 2019. After meeting him and hanging out with his family, of course, I would feel right at home with Simeon in this space.
“I always want him to enjoy and go through the whole process because I think these days a lot of kids are in situations, and life is about experiences. You can only do this once. I don’t want him to feel like he’s missing out on anything. So we’ll be visiting the schools he wants to visit because we want to base this decision not only on what was good for CJ, but also on what will be best for Simeon.
Sergio said the recruiting plan for Simeon going forward is to make two more official visits in October and then two more in November before Thanksgiving.
The only trip that’s stuck at this point is to North Carolina this weekend. They’ll also likely be taking officials to Oregon and the state of Ohio this fall and a few unofficials to nearby schools like Maryland, UConn, and Syracuse.
Sergio added that while they wanted to make as many visits as possible, they also needed to make sure academics remain a priority for Simeon, a student on the honor roll at Plainfield (NJ) Roselle Catholic.
“Once it was there that he was going to an official in Nebraska, the phone started ringing,” Sergio said.