By Sara Vierra 2015
Nici Gilday (NG) rounded up enough awards and honors in high school to last her a life time, but this stellar scholar athlete kept the success going with her amazing freshman season. Now, as a sophomore, Gilday is looking forward to starting for the Santa Clara's women's basketball ball team.
SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCU) was interested in finding out more about Gilday's feelings regarding starting. Gilday shared that, more than anything, she is excited to have the opportunity to contribute to her team and help lead them to a successful season. From fourth grade to the present, Gilday's passion for basketball has remained at a high, and she is looking forward to showing it on the court this season.
SCU: At what age did you begin to play basketball? What made you start playing?
NG: I started playing basketball when I was in 4th grade. I used to play soccer, but my dad encouraged me to try basketball, so I did.
SCU: What has been your favorite team/ time period of playing basketball?
NG: One of my favorite teams that I played on in the past was my AAU team, San Jose Metro. We were usually the underdogs and didn't have that many girls, but we played hard and together every game and upset a lot of the major club teams in the area; we had a lot of fun doing it, too!
SCU: How do you feel about your experience at SCU thus far? Are you excited to become a starting player for the Broncos?
NG: I love my experience so far at SCU. Besides being able to play basketball, the school itself is great. All around I've been lucky to have a great experience on the court and in the classroom. With regards to starting, it's more about being able to contribute than it is start. If I can come in the game and play good defense, rebound consistently, take care of the ball while being aggressive and looking to score, and create for my teammates then I've done my job.
SCU: Are there any quotes of strategies that you feel your game and style revolve around?
NG: There isn't one quote that can really sum it all up, but I just try to play as hard as I can when I step on the court, and if I do that then everything will take care of itself.
SCU: Do you have any role models, athletes or not, that have helped you through the adversities that come with being a scholar athlete?
NG: I've been lucky to have great teammates who set a really good example for me as to how to manage both school and basketball. Both in college and high school some of the smartest girls in the school were on my team, and being able to watch how they balanced both was a great example. Also, my parents always placed an emphasis on academics. They made sure to teach me how to manage my time properly from the time I first started playing sports.
SCU: What has been your most memorable moment with the Broncos?
NG: I've had a lot of great moments so far with the Broncos, but I think my most memorable moment is still to come! When we beat a top 3 team in the WCC, make it to post-season play, and win a championship I will have a most memorable moment!
SCU: Do you enjoy attending college close to home? Do you like that your friends and family can come support you while you play?
NG: I love attending college close to home. I get the best of both worlds. My family and friends are able to come to our games, and I get to go home for a home-cooked meal often, but I also get the experience of living on my own.
SCU: Do you hope to keep playing after college?
NG: I hope to keep playing for as long as I can. I don't know what level that will be at, but I hope to be playing for a long time.