The awards continue to pour in for the Alice Lloyd College Lady Eagles’ sophomore sensation Ariel Nickell as she has recently been named by the NAIA as a Second Team All-American.
On the season, the 5’9 forward from Tazewell, TN, led the Eagles to a third place KIAC Conference finish. In thirty-two games played, she averaged 22.46 points per game. This was good enough for 4th nationally. In addition, she was 3rd in the nation in total points scored (719).
Nickell was far from a one dimensional player, however. In rebounding, she ranked 5th nationally in defensive rebounds per game (7.6), 11th nationally in total rebounds (304), and 15th nationally in rebounds averaged per game (9.5). For good measure, she was 18th in total steals with 80, and 25th in steals per game (2.5). Her 18 blocks led her club, as well.
Her season high was 36 points against Brescia University, and she scored 35 on three other occasions. Nickell accomplished all of this despite playing the last eight games of the season with a severely broken nose. Remarkably, she averaged almost 27 ppg in those contests in which she played injured. Additionally, her rebounding high was 17 against Midway College, and she recorded 6 steals in three different contests.
Prior to this honor, Nickell was selected as the Kentucky Intercollegiate Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, as well as First Team All-Conference by the league’s coaches.
Furthermore, she was recently selected by the USCAA as a First Team All-American by their voters.
When asked about the accolades received by his sophomore star, Lady Eagles mentor John Mills said, “Ariel had the type of season I felt she was capable of having at Alice Lloyd, but I never dreamed she would have it this soon in her career. She is an absolute workhorse. Her self-confidence and her work ethic gave her a chance to perform at this high level. Once she made up her mind that she couldn’t be stopped, she played exceptional.” Mills added, “Ariel is a pure pleasure to coach. She gives all of the credit for her honors to her teammates. That is just the type of individual she is, because she never wants the spotlight on her.”