Seekamp hopes to play professional basketball
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Seekamp hopes to play professional basketball

While her time as a Coyote women’s basketball athlete might be over, senior guard Nicole Seekamp has her eyes set on either playing professionally in the Women’s National Basketball Association or Euroleague.

“In a couple weeks, there is a WNBA combine, or I could sign with an agent,” Seekamp said. “I would like to play professionally.”

Seekamp got involved with basketball at a young age.

“My dad started coaching me when I was five years old and it grew from there,” she said. “When I was 15 or 16, I started to realize I was getting better and better, and I got a scholarship to where the top athletes go.”

After she was offered a scholarship from a college in Australia, Seekamp said she realized that she was “actually pretty good at this, and maybe I should try to improve and go further in my career.”

Seekamp’s potential was evident to University of South Dakota head coach Amy Williams right from the beginning, she said.

“One game that really stands out (is) in her first season here, when we played in the WBI at Utah State,” Williams said. “It was a tight, tight ball game in the first half. She just kind of made up her mind in the second half that we were not going to lose that game. She came out and scored 28 points in the second half. That really solidified how special of a player she is.”

Williams and the players feel she is an extension of the coaching staff.

“She is such a high IQ basketball player, she kind of knew what I was going to say before I even said it,” William said. “Even for a new coach and her first year playing for us, it was a really easy transition.”

Seekamp’s roommate, junior guard Kelly Steward, said she has learned a lot from her.

“On the court she is basically like another coach,” Steward said. “She leads by example. If someone is doing something wrong or needs help with something, she knows how to tell them but not in a degrading way. Off the court she is a great person, and I have learned not to sweat the small stuff.”

Over the years, Seekamp has also expanded her game and become a better player.

“Back in Australia I had a lot of experience with older players, so I think I was a more matured basketball player coming into the college setting,” Seekamp said. “Then playing in college, there are girls that are bigger, faster and stronger than I am used to. Having a better competition around me has made me a better player.”

Her statistics prove she is a good player. Seekamp averages 15.6 points, 5.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game.

“Statistically speaking, it is extremely impressive to have a player who is capable of scoring the way she does but also be the top in the conference and nation for assist turnover ratio and steals per game,” Williams said. “It shows she is very versatile player and she can impact games in a lot of different ways.”

But both Williams and Steward know Seekamp doesn’t care about statistics.

“She is just so well rounded and does a little bit of everything for our team. Those are great stats to have, but Nicole is the last person to worry about it,” Steward said. “She cares more about the win. She knows how to attack the defense, when to attack the defense, what shots to take.”

At USD, Seekamp has played the forward position, the wing position — where the team relies on her to be a scorer — and the point guard position.

“With all of that expansive experience it has allowed her to become a better passer, perimeter shooting, consistent three-point shooter, to be the one who makes defensive plays and gets stops for us.
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She does it all and it has been able to help build on her versatility as a player,” Williams said.

Along with being versatile, she also has a strong mental game.

“Her basketball IQ, her ability to anticipate and mental awareness separates her from other players,” Williams said.

Steward believes Seekamp will go on to the WNBA.

“Nicole is an amazing basketball player and skilled with dribbling, passing (and) shooting, but her mental game is so strong that I think she can play at that level,” she said.

Williams said she and the players will miss everything that Seekamp brings to the floor.

“What I’ll miss most about her is that she is extremely loyal to this team and teammates. She is very unselfish and to have a superstar player be willing to give up any type of personal statistics, to do whatever the team needs,” Williams said. “I do think she will have a very bright future in the sport of basketball. Sky is the limit for her and she is a very unique player.”

(Photo: Nicole Seekamp protects the ball from a Creighton player in the WNIT first-round win at the DakotaDome March 19. Chris Timmerman / The Volante)