He’s headed in the right direction.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound forward, who graduated last week from Carbon Hill, signed a letter-of-intent recently with Marion Military Institute to continue his career on the hardwood.
Nichols served his team and former coach well during his four years at Carbon Hill.
A three-year starter, Nichols helped elevate a mediocre Carbon Hill basketball program that was just a handful of seasons away from challenging the state record for consecutive losses after dropping more than 80 straight games.
Things changed, and fast.
Nichols helped Carbon Hill to a school record 30 wins and a trip to the state Final Four for the first time in decades.
That wasn’t all.
Along the way, Carbon Hill also won county, area and regional titles before losing to eventual state champion Greensboro at the BJCC.
During his sophomore season, Nichols’ first as a starter, and junior seasons, Carbon Hill came close to earning a spot in the regional tournament, falling one win short both times.
Then came Nichols’ senior season.
He returned as the Bulldogs’ leading scorer and coupled with Walker transfer Tylor Owens and talented freshman Gerald Smith, Carbon Hill was on its way to a dream season.
The group meshed instantly on the court and started the season with a 23-game winning streak while rocketing up the Class 3A state rankings.
During the winning streak, Carbon Hill’s average margin of victory was 27 points, including a season-high 75-point win over Oakman.
Nichols, a dominant post player who averaged 12.7 points and 6 rebounds per game, suffered a serious injury late in the year, however.
He broke his shooting hand during a win over Cordova in the area tournament.
Nichols bounced back, though and played through the injury, helping Carbon Hill to a near state-title finish.
“Kolton was very important to our team. He was our post presence down low and was a tough matchup anywhere near the bucket,” said Carbon Hill head coach Robert Epps. “He passes the ball and plays off the dribble well too. But I mean, he plays hard and has a great feel for the game. Those two things are extremely important for reaching the next level.”