After two years of taking the backseat and letting the more experienced players guide the team, junior guard Terrance Nichols is ready for his chance to lead Geneseo’s men’s basketball team. Despite getting off to a 3-4 start this season, Nichols has been playing in some of his career-best games and averages 16.9 points per game, the second most on his team.
Nichols’s skill and love for the game make sense, seeing how he has been playing basketball from the age of four. Basketball was an easy game to pick up for Nichols, coming from Utica, where he says basketball was always just the “thing to do.” Numerous family members also played the game in college and his father is a former Division I player.
Basketball is not the only sport Nichols has played or even excelled at. In high school, he split his time between basketball, baseball and football and was good enough to be recruited for each of them through different schools. Big football schools like Michigan, Colgate and SUNY Buffalo had an interest in Nichols but at the end of the day, he went with his gut.
“I was sitting with coaches one day in high school and I just made the decision that I wanted to play basketball,” Nichols said. “I told myself I was most ready for college basketball. Sometimes I wonder what could’ve been but I don’t regret my decision.”
Once he decided on playing basketball in college, the next question was where. Nichols met the Geneseo coach the summer after his junior year of high school and visited the campus a few times. It was not only the athletics at Geneseo that impressed him but the academic rigor of the curriculum, especially considering he wanted to major in accounting.
“If I had to do it again, I’d still choose Geneseo,” Nichols said. “I just felt at home. Everyone was family. It’s a great atmosphere to be around.”
Now in the midst of his junior season, Nichols is optimistic about both his personal and his team’s prospects. The young team has a stacked schedule ahead of them, facing three of the top 20 schools in country within the next few weeks. Nichols says their goal right now is to get as good as they can be and play to their full potential.
Two people who have had a big impact on Nichols’s basketball career are retired NBA player Kobe Bryant and his high school coach. Bryant’s approach to the game and his work ethic inspired Nichols to never settle and always strive for best. His high school coach watched out for him, becoming almost a father figure who was always there to give him advice, basketball related or not.
Outside of the gym, Nichols can be found in Finance Club or probably with a pair of headphones in, listening to music that ranges from Taylor Swift to Frank Sinatra.
Students can next catch Nichols and the rest of the basketball team in action at home against SUNY Potsdam on Friday Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m.