Scott Settles into Starting Role for Eagles

Jan. 30, 2007

Story and photo by Brandon Hansen

 

At the beginning of the season, the Eastern Washington women's basketball team knew they would have a young frontcourt. But what they didn't know was how good freshman forward Nicole Scott was going to be.

 

Just a year ago, the 6-5 forward was playing ball at Carson High School and now she's dropping 18-point performances against teams in the Big Sky Conference thanks largely to her finesse moves under the basket.

 

Along with being an intimidating force on the basketball court, Scott was also an all-league volleyball player. Talk about versatility.

 

"I liked playing volleyball, but basketball was more of my thing," she said. "But it did keep me in shape in between seasons."

 

Scott would play club basketball in the summer, volleyball in the fall and then high school basketball in the winter. She was the do-it-all athlete.

 

As a true freshman, she's cracked the starting lineup as a forward for the Eagles and has been deadly with moves that look like they've been stolen from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

 

"I like using the hook shot because I really developed and started using it in high school," said Scott, who hails from Carson City, Nev.

 

Scott got her first start on Jan. 20 against Northern Colorado on the road and hasn't looked back.

 

"I thought I'd be nervous, but you don't have a lot of time to be nervous," said Scott. "You have to focus on the game."

 

She came to Eastern Washington to go to school and study athletic training, which has quickly become one of the most extensive programs at the university. She only took one trip to the university when deciding whether or not to go here.

 

"Cheney kind of reminded me of Carson," said Scott. "It was kind of like home."

 

Although Carson City has about 60,000 residents, the weather conditions are fairly similar, according to Scott. And another factor in making sure that Cheney felt like home were her parents, Judy and Mike, moving here to watch her play basketball.

 

"My mom wanted to move out of Carson," said Scott. "And she said she'd have basketball withdrawals not watching me play."

 

She also said that since her dad was from the outdoor state of Colorado, Cheney was a very good fit for him.

 

Now her parents get to watch her dominate the interior alongside sophomore Sydney Benson and freshman Tara Holgate in a post player tandem that would make any team in the Big Sky Conference shake in its boots.

 

"Earlier in the season we just had to get used to playing with the team and get used to the guards," said Scott.

 

The three have also been terrific on defense, as the team is tied for first in the conference in blocks.

 

"We've done pretty well; we all have our strengths when it comes to defense," said Scott.

 

And the Eagles will definitely need that defense against Montana State and Montana this weekend, as Eastern Washington will play host to the Bobcats on Feb. 1 and the Lady Griz on Feb. 3 in two key Big Sky match-ups.

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