Nichols notches 1,000th point
On January 24, UAlbany junior guard David Nichols eclipsed the 1,000-point mark on the road in Burlington against Vermont, an accomplishment only achieved by 10 other UAlbany players in the Division I era.
After seeing little playing time his freshman year, he had a prolific sophomore campaign, establishing himself as one of the Great Danes’ best players. Currently, he has continued his success in a stellar junior year. While an incredible individual accomplishment, the Chicago-bred Nichols has remained humble along the way.
“It’s an incredible individual accomplishment,” Nichols stated. “But it’s just a credit to my coaches and teammates who put me in a position to be successful.”
Although establishing himself as one of the best players every time he hits the hardwood, Nichol’s path to success wasn’t easy by any stretch. Before his breakout sophomore year, Nichol’s hardly played the year prior, and was not heavily recruited out of high school.
“Coming out of high school I didn’t get the offers I wanted,” he stated. “I took a lot of chances, playing a year of prep school, so I really made a lot of sacrifices to get to this point.”
After not receiving many offers, ending up at Albany was the culmination of his hard work and sacrifices, and is something Nichols’ calls a blessing.
His coach, Will Brown, describes his road to Albany and his recruiting process as bizarre, yet easy. According to Brown, Nichols had originally committed to Ranger Junior College in Fort Worth, Texas, to play for a year and then look to play for a Division I school for the next three years. However, Albany had a scholarship open, and was told by a scout that there was a very talented point guard in Chicago. That talented point guard was David Nichols.
“It was a good fit, and after they worked me out they gave me an offer, and I accepted it the next day,” Nichols said. In his time here, Nichols has described Albany as “home.”
His time at Albany has been filled with highs and lows, and Nichols’ story at the University at Albany serves as an inspiration.
Last year, Nichols’ older sister Cecilia passed away after a long battle with Leukemia. In his first game back, Nichols’ had an incredible performance, pouring in 40 points in the America East Quarter-Final against Hartford, tying a single-game record. His beautiful tribute to his sister is something Nichol’s describes as his favorite Albany moment. Although reaching the final in last year’s conference tournament, Nichols and the Great Danes ultimately lost to Vermont, and have been working extremely hard to reach their first NCAA Tournament since 2015.
Much of the reason for Nichol’s success is not only his work ethic, but his relationship with his coach and teammates.
“He’s a super talented player, he’s our point guard and captain,” said Head Coach Will Brown. “He’s an extension of the coach on the floor.” Brown also added that Nichols, throughout his time in Albany, has vastly improved his all-around game.
Brown also stated Nichols religious work ethic. “You never have to get on David for going to the gym. He’s always in there putting up shots with Joe Cremo, he practically lives in the gym.”
Cremo, a fellow junior guard who also recently eclipsed the 1,000 point mark himself, offered praise for his teammate and friend.
“He’s big for us, when he plays well our team plays well,” Cremo said. “When we click it’s a lot of fun and when we play well, we are the best combination in the league”
While Nichols is fierce on the court, as a man off the floor, it is a much different case.
“Off the court he’s totally different. He’s always laughing and smiling off the court, but on the court he’s serious and a fierce competitor, and all business” Cremo said.
To his Coach, he is laid back and cool when not playing but fiery on the court. Nichols attributes this play style to growing up in Chicago.
“Being in Chicago, you go against the top guards night in night out. To me on the court it’s take no prisoners. Nobody is your friend, except your teammates, those are your brothers,” Nichols’ explained. “I play with a chip on my shoulder.”
Nichols is not only a talented athlete, but an incredible student, rocking a 3.96 GPA in the classroom, earning America East Scholar-Athlete of the year, as well as being named to the America East All-Academic Team. It’s evident that Nichols has made the most of his time at Albany, on the court and in class.
“He’s such an incredible student, he will be successful with whatever he does in his life,” Coach Brown says. For Nichols, his aspirations in the future is to try to play professionally.
“It’s a blessing that I picked the right school where I was placed in a positon to succeed and it’s a dream come true,” Nichols said. Nichols has succeeded, and with his career not yet finished, he has already established himself as one of the greatest players the Albany basketball program has seen.