After a successful season for the Montclair State University women’s basketball team, freshman guard Nickie Carter was recognized once again for her stellar play and exceptional performance by earning another award, D3hoops.com’s Atlantic Region Rookie of the Year.
Carter shares the award with Reilly Boehm from the City College of New York. The Rookie of the Year award was implemented in 2008, and previous Red Hawks to win the award include Melissa Tobie in 2012 and Shalette Brown in 2013. Tobie also won Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015, and all-time player Katie Sire won the award in 2017 and 2018.
Head Coach Karin Harvey, who won Coach of the Year from D3hoops.com in 2013 and 2014, knew that Carter wanted to accomplish a lot in her first season. She put her mind to it, and it resulted in her being rewarded in a grand fashion.
“Her goal coming into Montclair State was to be the [New Jersey Athletic Conference] Rookie of the Year,” Harvey said. “She worked every day to achieve that goal and more. To be the only freshman named to the D3hoops Atlantic Region and be named Rookie of the Year is an amazing accomplishment. We are all very proud of her growth this season.”
Harvey has done a great job in implementing her play style and having Carter adapt to it. As all of the Red Hawk fans saw, it was a great run for the freshman. Harvey also saw something in her that is tough to get out of any basketball player.
“[Carter] has a lot of confidence in her abilities and is gritty,” Harvey said. “Grit is something that can not be taught, it’s an inner strength that comes from hard work and dedication.”
It’s evident that Carter is a great scorer and is known to spread the wealth and play an all-around game, but she was never selfish about it. She had help along the way from the two seniors on the team, Alex McKinnon and Cerys MacLelland, and she trusted the coaching staff, just like Harvey trusts her ability to score.
“Reflecting back on the season I could not have imagined a better way to start my college career,” Carter said. “Coach Harvey and the whole coaching staff really had a lot of confidence in me which made it so easy for me to come in and play my game, that’s something I’m really thankful for. It became clear pretty early in the season that my role was to come in and score and I loved that.”
She has certainly executed that role impressively. In the beginning for Carter, it was tough to adjust to collegiate play and a new system, along with a lot of new faces. Her dedicated work ethic has paid off after her freshman year, so much that it shocked her a little bit.
“I was honestly really surprised when I found out I had gotten the D3Hoops award,” Carter said. “I hadn’t really imagined getting something like that so I was really grateful. I put in a lot of hours of work going into and throughout the whole season so it was really cool to get that kind of recognition and see that my work had paid off.”
With lots of uncertainty in the air right now, the Montclair State women’s basketball team continues to be a ray of sunshine in tough times. Carter is ready to lead this team for the next few years.