The University of South Dakota Women's Basketball team is currently playing Stanford in the NCAA Tournament, and junior standout Nicole Seekamp is a major reason why.
"Nicole Seekamp made the unlikely journey from Renmark, South Australia, to Vermillion, South Dakota. A year ago, she was Summit League Tournament MVP, and this season, has proven even more valuable," KELOLAND's Travis Fossing said.
USD's moment of joy, didn't come without struggle. The Coyotes opened Summit League play with four consecutive losses, and standout Nicole Seekamp largely on the bench, due to a foot injury.
"That's always difficult, being on the sidelines and watching, but I tried to help them out even though I was injured. But, that helped us regain focus, and we overcame that hump, and got back on track, and played great at the end of the year," USD Junior Nicole Seekamp said.
A healthy Seekamp helped the Coyotes win seven of their final ten conference games, and three straight in the Summit League tournament, propelling USD to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
"She's just such a versatile player. She's not only our leading scorer, but our backup point guard and our defensive stopper on the wing, and one of our best rebounding guards. She just does so many things for our team that when we were playing without Nicole, it was very evident. But, I think during that stretch our team really grew up and really matured during that process, so that when we were able to throw a player of her caliber back into the lineup, it made us that much stronger," USD Head Coach Amy Williams said.
The Coyotes will no doubt rely heavily on Seekamp in tonight's game against Stanford, and especially during her senior season. So, how did she go from South Australia to South Dakota?
"I don't know really. I'm just lucky enough that our assistant coach came over there and recruited me, and I couldn't be happier with where I ended up. I love it here," Seekamp said.
On the heels of the Coyotes three-game tournament run, Seekamp was named to the all-Summit League Tournament team for the second consecutive season.