Nader, a 6-7 small forward, was one of Illinois’ top Class of 2011 recruits. He had considered attending a prep school and reclassifying as a 2012 recruit. He had also been recruited by Florida, Marquette, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Tennessee and many Big Ten schools.
Nader was previously committed to New Mexico before re-opening his recruitment earlier this year.
“To me, it’s not about the name,” said Nader, who was recruited by assistant coach Todd Townsend. “It’s about where I would rather go. It’s a good location and close to home, and I really believe in the coaching staff. I saw the big picture going there and fit in really good.”
Nader was an ESPNChicago.com all-area selection and averaged 23 points and 8.2 points during his senior season.
“He’s had all the skills offensively, and he continues to develop more,” Niles North coach Glenn Olson said. “This year he’s become a great all-around player. He’s improved in every facet of the game.”
Northern Illinois first-year coach Mark Montgomery has quickly put together a high-profile recruiting class. Nader and De La Salle’s Dre Henley were two of Illinois’ elite players last season, and Brooks twin forwards Keith Gray and Kevin Gray were among the Chicago Public League’s top players.
“I feel maybe next year or so we could be really good and contend for the NCAA tournament,” Nader said.