A member of the San Marcos Athletic Hall of Fame, Nieves was an All-Channel League football defensive back in 1978 and 1979 and played in the Santa Barbara County All-Star Football Classic in 1979. Additionally, he was noted the MVP for the Royals’ basketball team as well as the Channel League in 1979 along with an All-CIF second- team nod.
Nieves attended SBCC from 1980-81, excelling in basketball. A member of the Western State Conference championship team in 1980 and with a share of the title in 1981, Nieves was an all-Conference selection in 1981. He also won the academic award in 1980. After SBCC, Nieves went on to star at Fresno State. In 1981-82 the Bulldogs went 27-3 with a Pacific Coast Athletic Association Championship. In 1983 the Bulldogs, with Nieves as co-captain, won the NIT Championship and team induction in the City of Fresno Hall of Fame. Nieves went on to play in the Puerto Rico Professional Basketball League from 1980-85.
Nieves earned his BA from Fresno State and his JD from UC Davis. He is currently a partner in the Pasadena Law Firm of Hunt, Ortmann, Palffy, Nieves, Lubka, Darling & Mah, Inc. and lives with his wife Tina and three sons Spencer (19), Austin (19) and Parker (17). He is the co-chair for the Fresno State $200 Million Dollar Campaign and a 10-year member of the Executive Board of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the Pasadena Parks & Recreation Commission, the Fresno State Alumni Association and The First Tee of Pasadena, among several other youth coaching activities.
Nieves counts Sal Rodriguez of the Goleta Boys Club among the most important mentors in his life. He also cites coaches Maurey Halleck, Frank Carbajal, Satini Puailoa, Moe Claydon, Bob Archer and Boyd Grant as instrumental in his athletic and character development.