The Samford Women’s Basketball team just ended their season in the second round of the Southern Conference tournament against rival Mercer, posting a score of 81-44. Redshirt sophomore, forward Olivia Crozier, led with 13 points and four rebounds. Redshirt senior Hannah Nichols ended the final game of her career with 12 points and six rebounds.
The Bulldogs are looking back at the season, especially lone redshirt senior Hannah Nichols. She reminisced on her career, giving sports the credit for her growth.
“I’m a firm believer that sports help build character and it’s even a bigger challenge when you become a student.”
Nichols thinks back on the most memorable moments of her career, which includes a moment she shared with Samford women’s basketball coach Mike Morris.
“I was sitting in coach Morris’ office my junior year and he told me, ‘Players come and go, but it’s who you become as a person that I’m most concerned about.’ That is something I’ll never forget,” said Nichols, “I will always be thankful for the coaching staff at Samford because they truly care about us as individuals, not just athletes.”
Nichols showed appreciation for Samford, the coaching staff and her teammates. She explained the valuable lessons that she has learned as a person and a player. She gives credit to her teammates for making the experience nothing short of amazing.
“I’ve encountered some of the greatest humans I’ve ever had the opportunity of meeting during my time here. They have all pushed me to be a better person and held me accountable when I fall short,” said Nichols.
Hannah looked back on herself as an 18-year-old freshman and is proud with her growth as an individual.
“During my time as Samford I’ve think the biggest thing I learned was how to grow up. It might have been something that I was forced to learn but it’s ended up being one of the biggest blessings of my life. I’m 100 percent a better person because of Samford University.”
Basketball wise, she feels like she’s grown as a player through finding a new love for defense.
“I have definitely grown the most defensively, college showed how important defense was and by my junior and senior year I actually started to enjoy it,” said Nichols.
Nichols will be graduating this spring with a degree in sports administration. As graduation comes closer, Nichols reflected on the lessons learned from being a student- athlete.
“As I graduate I think I will really benefit from the lessons I’ve learned as a student-athlete,” said Nichols. “I’m a firm believer that sports help build character and that’s put to the test when you enter college sports. So little people continue their sports career into college and that’s because it truly is such a challenging thing that is often looked over, even by me at times because I’ve been doing it for so long now it just seems normal. This has disciplined me more than anything in my life ever has and I know that I can carry the work ethic that I’ve had to accustom because of basketball into the workforce after I graduate and leave Samford.”
The Samford women’s basketball team finished the season 15-16, with a record of 11-4 at home and 2-10 on the road. Olivia Crozier and Nichols were both named second team All-SoCon team. Between both tournament games, Crozier and Nichols averaged 12-15 points and 5-8 rebounds per game.
Joi Moore, Staff Writer
[photo of Hannah Nichols | photo courtesy of Todd Drexler]