Fourth-year women’s basketball veteran Nikki Stacy is looking to spread her contagious energy to her teammates as her team heads into the final stretch of the season.
“Nikki is what I call an ‘energizer.’ When she’s on the court she has a great ability to turn up the energy level, and I think that’s contagious,” Head Women’s Basketball Coach Keith Boucher said.
The head coach touched on the senior’s exceptional defensive skills.
“She prides herself on her defense. She wants to shut you down,” Boucher said. Boucher went on to highlight Stacy’s impact on the court that may not be noticed by those in the stands.
“She helps us in ways people don’t see. Her competitive nature, her physical toughness, her ability to bring energy every day. That’s not an easy thing to do,” Boucher said.
Boucher channeled his inner Bill Belichick [New England Patriots Head Coach] when describing the importance of his players performing on a consistent basis.
“Nikki comes in every day and does her job,” Boucher said.
Boucher also highlighted Stacy’s drive to improve and get stronger, an aspect of the game preparation she takes very seriously.
Aside from the training program for the women’s basketball team, Stacy participates in crossfit training, an intense workout regimen that has become popular across the United States.
Stacy said she takes her job as an athlete very seriously.
“I’m an athlete. I eat and train, I don’t diet and exercise,” Stacy said.
“The thermostat,” as her coach calls her, had to cool down with plenty of ice and rehab at the beginning of the season after tearing the PCL [Posterior Cruciate Ligament] in her knee the day before the team’s scrimmage.
Stacy lost most of her playing time this season due to the injury and has since been working every day to get back in playing form.
Stacy’s efforts to return to the court have been noticed by her teammates, including junior Laurie Allen.
“When she was injured, you never saw her not in the gym, still. Even when she was injured she was always doing rehab and trying to get back at it,” Allen said of her teammate, “Anything that she could do to get back on the court, she did it.”
Stacy said she hopes to make an impact as she gets more and more playing time and looks to be a role model for the younger players on the team.
Number 12 reflected on her career as an Owl and commented on her tenure coming to a close.
“Playing a sport in college is just a gift. I know it’s a sacrifice . . . I couldn’t give up the sport again. I had to play one last time. It’s like a way of life and I just love the sports and love the game,” Stacy added. “It teaches you a lot about yourself and about how the world works I guess you could say.”
“It feels kind of weird closing that up and not have your parents come to your games anymore, not cheering you on, not seeing your success in that way, but I guess in a different way now,” Stacy said.
After graduation, Stacy, who is a health science major, said she plans to attend courses to earn her registered nursing certification.
Jacob Barrett can be contacted at email@example.com