Coach Rob Nickens defines success

And it is not *all* about basketball


Photo by Ke'Mari Pointer

Basketball coach Rob Nickens in the halls of Roosevelt, a place he considers his “second home.”

When basketball coach Rob Nickens won his 400th game in December, the team dunked him with water and the Washington Post wrote a story. He’s won five city championships and one state championship for Roosevelt in his 18-year tenure, but it is his personal relationships that are the pay-off for him.

“To be an influence in so many kids’ eyes is a blessing from God,” Coach Rob said.

Nickens doesn’t coach basketball just to get the win and/or championships: he also wants to push his players to a level of success outside the Milk House. Throughout the years, Nickens has strived for players to build a life for themselves. His office walls are filled with pictures of players he coached, some who played college ball, and some who went on to succeed in business careers.

“If you look at my wall, all these kids have gone on to play college basketball and get a degree. Guys have gone on to be professionals in the field of work,” Nickens said, “My interests are just being able to see my kids succeed.”

His office is filled with trophies and memorabilia, but it is the kids’ successes that Coach Rob Nickens is most proud of. (Photo by Ke’Mari Pointer)

But getting the win also happens often enough. The boys’ basketball team has made it to the semi-finals for the past two years, and two years before that they made it to the championship.

Nickens has been head coach for Roosevelt since 2005 and coached for many years before that. He is now 51.

“A lot of people don’t last 18 years in one school, let alone 27 years of coaching high school basketball,” Coach Rob said.

Having been at Roosevelt for almost two decades, Nickens has a deep affection for the school. “Roosevelt is a great place. I’ve been here longer than many. I consider this my second home; I love it!” he said.

Rob said he isn’t thinking about leaving Roosevelt anytime soon but knows that one day the time will come.

“After retirement I see myself sitting on a porch, drinking some ice-cold lemonade, watching my dog chase the ball in the backyard,” he said, “and just being at peace.”