Brittany Stevens, Sports Writer
Last Thursday, Feb. 9, Hannah Nichols of the Samford women’s basketball team scored her 1,000th point in the Lady Bulldogs’ game against the UNCG Spartans. The redshirt junior from Huntsville, Ala., has been a key contributor for the Lady Bulldogs this year, averaging 13.5 points per game as the team’s leading scorer. She specializes in 3-point shooting, averaging 2.2 triples a game, and is ranked No. 7 among the leading scorers in all of the Southern Conference.
Earlier this season, Nichols scored her career high with an impressive 29 points against Hampton University. She shot 7 of 9 from behind the arc, which was enough to tie the standing Samford record for most 3-pointers made in one game. Not to mention, with 185 career 3s, Nichols is No. 4 in the all-time rankings for 3-pointers made. Having scored 1,006 career points so far, Nichols also is currently ranked No. 8 on the list of all-time leading scorers in Samford women’s basketball history. She has the remainder of this season and all of next season to continue breaking school records.
“The concept of being only the eighth player in school history to have scored 1,000 points is pretty cool,” Nichols said. “It’s something I never imagined having the privilege to say about my college career.”
However, Nichols does not let her impressive scoring resume on the offensive side of the court overshadow her defensive efforts. Nichols is tied with Samantha Fitzgerald, a dynamic freshman forward, for the most defensive rebounds on the year. Nichols also leads the team in blocks and plays an important and versatile defensive role for the Lady Bulldogs. As she rotates from the small forward position to a stretch-four player, Nichols has to be able to both guard on the perimeter and battle defensively in the post. Nichols has adjusted well to her new role as a scorer, rebounder and post defender.
Off the court, Nichols’ constant joy and vibrant attitude influences everyone she encounters—whether that’s in the locker room with her teammates, in the classroom or spending time with her friends and family. She is majoring in sport administration and minoring in communication studies. On top of being a full-time student-athlete, Nichols also works for Campus Recreation.
When she is not playing basketball or in class, Nichols really enjoys being outdoors, hiking and supporting other Samford sports teams. She also enjoys her team’s weekly trips to the Torres family’s home to play board games and eat dinner. Kristen, Angel, and Dante Torres attend church with head coach Mike Morris, and their family has chosen to really invest in the Samford women’s basketball team this year.
“Being in fellowship with such genuine and loving people really takes the stress of school and basketball away,” Nichols said.
Nichols’ favorite places to eat around Birmingham are Jack Brown’s for its burgers and fries, Little Italy’s for its pizza and Hickory Tavern for its barbeque chicken nachos. She also says that her favorite part about playing college basketball is the opportunity she has to learn and grow with her teammates as both people and basketball players.
“Basketball is so much more exciting when you get to play for one another,” she said. “I could never be in the situation that I’m in without the teammates and coaches I’ve been so incredibly blessed to have. They have believed in me every step of my journey, whether easy or hard. The selflessness they show is amazing and humbling to see. I couldn’t do it on my own and I can never thank them enough. It’s truly an honor to be a part of this team.”