We’d like to introduce to you Nicole Hart, a 1st year with the Coyotes back playing basketball after a year off as a post-secondary student-athlete. The student half of Nicole is focusing on the business discipline in hope of pursuing a career in floral and/or interior design. The athlete half is adding to the Coyotes side of the scoreboard from the paint. The Immaculata High graduate was raised right here in the Okanagan in a full-on, high-level sports family. The Hart name might be familiar to many ears here in Kelowna as both Nicole’s older siblings went on to play sports down across the border in the NCAA. Her father, ever the motivating voice in her ear is a piece to the business side of the Okanagan College Coyotes program. Like many athletes on this Coyotes team, her path here was unconventional and didn’t come without its challenges.
The three-year member of Basketball BC’s provincial teams and two-time B.C. School Sports provincial champion had a number of interested parties interested in where she was playing upon graduation from high school. That kind of attention on anybody is stressful but with the help of her family, Nicole had it narrowed down to two schools. There was the choice to stay home and attend UBCO or follow her brother down to Santa Barbara and play Div. 1 in the NCAA. However, two weeks before the decision, the entire Santa Clara coaching staff up and left the program, heavily influenced Nicole’s decision. It was the Santa Barbara staff leaving and familiarity of playing at home with girls she’d known from the provincial teams that eventually drew Nicole up the road to UBCO. Idyllic scenarios are don’t always work out and a poor situation at UBCO lead Nicole to make the difficult decision to take a year off. Nicole reconnected with Dino at the end of last year as he coached her at Immaculata and knew very well of her ability. The rest, as they say, is history as it didn’t take long before Nicole was pulling on the red, white and black.
While admittedly shy, Nicole has worked to put herself out there these last few years, getting out of her comfort zone and pushing the dial. She’s excited to have Dino behind the bench once again and prove the poor coaches of her past wrong this season. Don’t be surprised to see Nicole adding feng-shui to a room, or points to Coyotes side of the scoreboard this year. You can catch Nicole and the rest of the Okanagan Coyotes women’s basketball team kick-off this year November 2nd!