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This is Nicole Seekamp

Nicole Seekamp had a considerable amount of notoriety before she ever stepped foot in Vermillion, South Dakota.

Whether it’s from being recruited by Virginia Tech and Syracuse (to name a few) or whether it’s from being a key component on the South Australian U-20 team, one thing that is certain is that women’s basketball player Nicole Seekamp knows how to play the game of basketball.

Seekamp, a sophomore at USD, is getting near the end of an admirable first season for the Coyotes. She is currently the team’s top scorer and is constantly putting up buckets game after game.

But there’s something else special about this 5’10” shooting guard. She traveled here all the way from Renmark, South Australia.

Seekamp began playing basketball at a young age. Her entire family plays basketball, including her brother and both of her parents. Her father began coaching her when she was five-years old. She then picked up a basketball and began to play when she was around seven-years old.

Her brother nearly came to the United States to play basketball and go to college as well, but eventually opted not to.  However, both of her parents played for their local city basketball teams. Seekamp says her parents were a huge factor in getting her to America en route to USD.

“My mom knew how good I was so she pushed me to be as good as I could be,” she said. “They both drove me down to the city for three years, so they were very dedicated to my success.”

Back in Australia, Seekamp was one of the top women’s players in the country. She was the captain of the South Australian team in the U-20 Championships where she averaged 12.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. In 2010, she also led the Australian U-19 world championship women’s team, the Gems, and averaged 18.5 points per game in two tournaments as the team’s starting point guard.

Seekamp said she was hesitant to come to America at first, even though she was being heavily recruited by  assistant coach Ryan Larsen. He had recruited Seekamp for over two years, even making a trip to Australia to watch her play in their state tournament. She opted to stay in Australia for an extra year, which cost her a year of NCAA eligibility, but she is glad that she came to USD.

“Eventually I said yes because I thought it was a good place to come and I liked the coaches,” said Seekamp.

Women’s head coach Amy Williams said Seekamp has the highest basketball IQ of anyone she has ever coached.

“She understands the game very well and she can play multiple positions,” Williams said. “Because of that she is extremely valuable.”

Seekamp originally started playing the point guard position, but has since been moved around quite a bit. She said no matter where she plays, she is just happy to be on the court.

According to her teammates, off the court she is known as being funny, and having a great sense of humor. Her teammates love listening to her talk in her Australian accent. She is both liked and respected by her teammates, which is a difficult task for first year players.

Teammate Alexis Yackley describes Seekamp as a great teammate both on and off the court.

“You can really see just how much she loves the game,” Yackley said. “When she’s out there, she makes playing basketball a lot of fun.”

One thing that both the players and coaches respect most about Seekamp is her maturity off the court while living thousands of miles away from home.

“When everyone else was dying to get home for Christmas break she didn’t get to go home and see her family,” Williams said. “But she has adapted so well and that’s something that I really admire about her.”

Seekamp says that while she misses being at home at times, she really loves South Dakota and is excited to spend her next two years in Vermillion.