Jack attended Everett High. During his senior season in 1943, he was All-District Center and led his team to a 19-4 record including the district championship. Two of the team’s loses were to Lewis and Clark of Spokane at the end of the season for the unofficial state title (there was no state tournament in 1943 because of WWII).
The 6’ 7 ½” Nichols played three seasons at University of Washington (1944, 47 & 48) and two seasons at University of Southern California (1945 & 46 while training with the Marine Corps). He was named an all-conference player during all five seasons. As a senior at the UW, he was team captain with a 14.9 points per game average and the Huskies were Pacific Coast Conference co-champions. In 1948, he set single season scoring records for the UW and the Pacific Coast Conference with 1,070 points, and a single game scoring record of 39 points.
As one of the earliest NBA players from the UW, he played nine NBA seasons (1948 to 1958). He averaged double figures in points four times and ten-plus rebounds twice. His last four-plus seasons were with Boston. He won a championship with the Celtics in 1957. During the 1955-56 season, he averaged 14.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. In his NBA career, he scored 5,245 points. Some of his prestigious awards and accomplishments were:
· 1948, center on the Helms Athletic Foundation College All-American basketball team.
· 1965, inducted into the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame.
· 1990, commissioner of basketball for the Goodwill Games in Seattle.
· 1999, Seattle Times 2nd team of the All-Century Washington State high school basketball team.
· 2005, Everett Herald Top 50 Athletes from Snohomish County.