Throughout the course of the NY2LA Association this past season, one of the top shooters from any age division was Niko Lucero of 3D Empire. The 6’0” junior guard had a few hot shooting tournaments but took it to another level in Atlanta in July during the Best of the South Tournament. 

While Lucero had an ankle injury early in the spring, he was quickly able to make up for missed time later in the season. He had a staggering performance at the Best of the South Tournament which included a 33-point game that included nine made three pointers. This game was one of several big performances that helped him make the NY2LA Association 16U second team. 

With the help of Lucero back at full strength, 3D Empire was able have an impressive summer run reaching the championship games of both the Best of the South as well as The Final Chapter tournament. “I loved playing on the NY2LA circuit,” he said about his season. Adding in, “overall I was happy how I played. Obviously winning is the most important thing, so next summer I will do my best to help make sure we win those close games.” 

Behind his play over the past few months, he has started to hear from several college programs. He has heard from Cal Poly, Denver, Sacramento State, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, in addition to a handful of division two programs. 

Lucero is not satisfied to stand on just his shooting ability alone and said “I’m always looking to improve on every aspect of my game. I need to get stronger and better defensively so that’s going to be a big focus.” Another element of his game he is looking to be more comfortable being a point guard. “I would love to be a kid who still has an aggressive scoring mindset but has the ability to be a facilitator.” 

After transferring during the high school season last year, Lucero has his first season coming up for Birdville (TX). Alongside Michigan State commit and fellow 3D Empire player Gehrig Normand, Lucero is looking towards a state championship run amongst a “super competitive” 5A group. “I believe we have a team that can win it all.”