WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Hard to believe that it’s been four years that Nick Powell has been on the UNCW Basketball team. He has worked hard each and every year and this semester it payed off with a scholarship. But he’s gotten even more than just free tuition since he’s arrived.
“Obviously I came at a good time, three rings in three years,” Powell said. “That success has definitely brought me back but I’ve enjoyed every bit of it.”
The mindset of a walk-on player is different than one on a scholarship. Every day is an audition for Nick Powell so he keeps his mind and body ready for whenever his #14 is called.
“It just starts with keeping my personal goals higher than I did in years past,” Powell said. “I expect to come in and chip in or contribute in some kind of way. It’s more of a mentality thing for me. I just try to see myself as someone that can make a difference on the court.”
While Powell tries to make a personal difference on the court, Coach C.B. McGrath tries to create a different game plan on the floor to fill the void of the four starters who left last year. The change creates opportunities for Powell and other faces who haven’t had their chances to make their impact.
“There’s definitely guys taking on different roles that they haven’t in years past,” Powell said. “Guys that sat out last year that are taking a bigger role this year and obviously new guys that are stepping in and trying to learn everything really quick. Definitely seeing new people and new roles but I think people are excited to take on those roles on moving forward.”
To make a difference in that new role, Nick Powell spends the time off the court to make sure he is at the top of his game.
“Focusing on my defense number one and offensively, working within the offense and being ready to hit down shots.” Powell said.
If defense is something Powell feels he needs to work on, this team is certainly geared towards that. Coach McGrath implements several circuits to make sure the Seahawks are ready to face off against the best the CAA has to offer. That includes his teammates who Powell battles against on a daily basis.
“In practice, guarding Jaylen Fornes and Ty Taylor every day is definitely a challenge defensively,” Powell said. “Talley usually pushes me, he’s one of the more vocal guys.”
Once this season ends, so does the college career of Nick Powell. While the chapter ends in college athletics, he’s not ready to turn the page completely on basketball, possibly as a coach.
“I’ve had conversations with Coach,” Powell said. “Obviously we’ve had similar situations in college with him starting off as a walk-on and taking that grad assistant spot after his senior year. I’d like to follow in similar footsteps, but we’ll see.”