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Timeout with Nicole Seekamp: A much loved Coyote
Michael De Lacy takes a timeout with South Dakota's versatile senior guard Nicole Seekamp.
The South Australian has been having an impressive season to date, leading her team with 14.3 points at 44% from the field to go with 3.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. With two player conference player of the week awards this season, Seekamp aiming to lead her Coyotes squad to the Summit League Tournament for the third year in a row and back-to-back Summit League titles.
"Gulp," joked Coyote's Coach Amy Williams about Seekamp's imminent departure. "I don't want to talk about that. I was working on our senior video yesterday and I can tell you that graduation day is going to be a sad, sad day for Coyote women's basketball. At times we've taken all of that stability that she brings to this team for granted but it's going to stick out like a sore thumb now that she's not out there anymore."
The Senior has become a very valuable member of this Coyotes squad. This is clearly seen as she has started for the Coyotes in 85 games out of a total of 88 games. The dynamic guard has also been recently voted to the Capital One Academic All-District 6 men’s and women’s basketball teams as selected by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Seekamp was one of three Summit League players to be named to one of the eight All-District teams.
Seekamp first season as a sophomore, after sitting out the season before 2011-12 as a redshirt.
"I've always had high expectations for myself – I'm a perfectionist," stated Seekamp about her college career so far. "I'd never say I've played as well as I'd hoped but you can't really expect much better. I've tried to help my teams out as best I can and I think I've done that. And the last few years we've been a successful team. That's the best you can hope for."
South Dakota is on top of the Summit League rankings with a 11-3 record and an impressive 21-6 overall. The team remains undefeated on their home court, with the play of Seekamp playing a large part of the Coyote's success.
The Pick and Roll’s exclusive interview with Nicole Seekamp
Michael: This season you had the 5th best assist-to-turnover ratio and were ranked sixth within the league in steals. What did you work on in the offseason?
Nicole: I worked on foot speed and getting quicker defensively, a variety of offensive skills, including shooting, passing and secondary moves.
Michael: What was your biggest highlight from the 2013-2014 season?
Nicole: The biggest highlight would have to be winning the Summit League Tournament and playing Stanford first round in the NCAA Tournament.
Michael: What was your biggest challenge?
Nicole: My biggest challenge would have to be sitting out my freshman year and not playing. I overcame it by treating practices as my games and being more of a student of the game and learning from my teammates and coaches.
Michael: How many shots do you try to get up each day? Do you use it to escape your study?
Nicole: I don’t really try to get up a specific number. I usually go for a certain time and put up quality, game-like shots. I think that is more beneficial. Yes, it definitely is an escape from study and the general stresses of life.
Nicole Seekamp - Courtesy University of South Dakota Athletics
Michael: What were the goals for the team and you as an individual this season?
Nicole: A general goal for our team is to be playing the best team that we possibly can in March when tournament time comes around. More specifically, we want to do that by winning the rebounding war and being the best defensive team. My individual goals were just to improve every game and be consistent; do the things my team needed me to do.
Michael: What are you currently studying? Is there something you wish to pursue after basketball?
Nicole: I am currently studying Psychology. If I pursued a career in that I would want to go into sports psychology and work with both individuals and teams. However, a part of me also wants to go into massage therapy, so that is another option for me to think about.
Michael: What Australian basketball players have inspired you?
Nicole: Growing up, I always looked up to Penny Taylor. But I would have to say my family inspired me the most. My mum and brother got similar opportunities and didn’t take them and I loved the sport enough where I wanted to try it and not have any regrets.
Michael: How did you get the opportunity to play in college? I’m sure a lot of young Australians would love to follow in your footsteps.
Nicole: I guess it started by representing my state, and putting my name on a list of athletes that potentially wanted to come over to the US. College coaches then recruited me via these two ways and we kept in contact until I decided which college fit me best and where I wanted to play.
Michael: What led you to begin playing basketball? And when did you decide that you should go to the states?
Nicole: My family all played basketball. My dad has always been my coach and he pushed me through good times and bad. My brother was going to come play in the US but decided not to and my dad wanted me to do the same thing. I decided to try it out and I have loved every second of it.
Nicole Seekamp - Courtesy University of South Dakota Athletics
Michael: What’s something not much people know about you? Something you like to do?
Nicole: That’s a tough one. I would have to say reading; I love reading, and if I wasn’t so busy with school and basketball I would do it a lot more!
Michael: What do you believe is your biggest asset in your game?
Nicole: The biggest asset in my game would have to be my versatility. I can play any position and I like playing multiple positions.
Michael: Is there something you like to work on with your game? I know your quite the rebounding force so would you put defence up their?
Nicole: I have definitely become more of a defensive threat and I love being able to lock someone up on defense.
Michael: What's something you want to improve on moving onto next season?
Nicole: Something I want to work on is being a more consistent and becoming a better 3-point shooter.
Nicole Seekamp and the South Dakota Coyotes take on IUPUI on Friday (Australian time) in their second last game for the regular season.
You can follow Nicole Seekamp on twitter: @NicoleSeekamp35