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Team BC vet Nycholat returns to Timberwolves

Jessica Nycholat

The University of Northern British Columbia Women’s basketball team has added a familiar name to fans of the Prince George hardcourt, officially announcing the commitment of Jessica Nycholat for the 2019-2020 Canada West season.

Nycholat, who graduated from College Heights in 2018, has been attending UNBC this academic year. A three-time Prince George City All-Star, she reached out to Timberwolves coach Sergey Shchepotkin in hopes of trying out for the team.

“I really missed basketball. I would see them practicing, and I really regretted not playing. I emailed Sergey and he invited me to practice. After my first practice, it was obvious. They are all so nice and I really loved playing with them.”

The 19-year-old, who played on the U15 and U16 Provincial teams, has been able to train with the Timberwolves this spring. A regular spectator at TWolves games, Nycholat says the adjustment to being back on the court has been aided by her new teammates.

“I come to all the games I can to watch them, and they have some very good players on this team. They have been so welcoming and so nice to me. They’re very supportive and help me a lot whenever I have questions. I feel like I have made friends with a lot of them.”

Standing five-foot-nine, Nycholat was known in Prince George for her tenacity in all facets of the game. She averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds per game in her Grade 12 season with the Cougars, but understands there will be adjustments to made now that she is in the highest level of university sport in Canada.

“I think I am pretty physical. I like to get a lot of rebounds, and I am strong in the midrange. Defensively, I will have to adjust. Where I would have helped when someone is driving, I shouldn’t fully help, because they will kick it out and shoot a three. And, they’re actually going to make it. Just spacing. There are a lot of things that are different at this level than high school, and I have been out of the game for a year. I am getting back into it and getting my shot.”

Shchepotkin was aware of Nycholat’s well-rounded game when she was in the high school ranks. He says the guard/forward swing has a chance to make an impact on the Timberwolves program for years to come.

“We are really excited to add Jessica to our roster. I don’t think she knows how good she can be. She wants to be a part of this program, and she brings a passion to the court. She was an impact player in high school, and her work ethic and willingness to do the little things will help us moving forward.”

Nycholat, a product of the Jr Timberwolves program under TWolves assistant coach Louise Holmes, played with future UNBC teammate Rebecca Landry in Steve Nash basketball, Jr Timberwolves, and Team BC. She is currently studying marketing and finance, with aspirations of becoming a human rights lawyer. She will join the team in August for training camp, and is ready to suit up for the team she grew up rooting for.

“I am so excited to play with the girls. Especially Madison and Beck. I grew up with them, so I am excited to play with them. I grew up on the same street. I can see their house, and I can see Emily Holmes’ house from my house. It is going to be so cool. It will be so nice to have my friends and family come to the games. I love UNBC, so it will be nice to play here.”

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