Eastside Catholic is one win away from the 3A state semifinals, and sophomores Nolan Hickman and Shane Nowell are big reasons why the Crusaders are rolling.
The super sophs will lead the Crusaders into a 3A quarterfinal matchup with Ingraham at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. We recently caught up with Hickman and Nolan to ask them seven questions.
How would you describe your game?
Hickman: Score at will. Feed the hot hand. Facilitator. Set the tempo on both sides. All around player.
Nowell: A facilitator who likes to get others involved. An improved shooter as well as defender. Also an outstanding rebounder.
What are your goals for the season?
Hickman: Win state and lead my team to victory!
Nowell: Winning a state championship. Individually, being the outstanding defender, rebounder, assister, and facilitator in the state tournament.
How would you describe your coach (Brent Merritt)?
Hickman: Funny. Means business. Caring.
Nowell: I have an outstanding coach who is always honest and pushes me every day to be my best in practice as well as games. Extremely intelligent with defense and offensive game planning. Has taught me that I can personally dominate the game without scoring the basketball.
Who is your favorite player?
Hickman: Kyrie Irving.
Nowell: Jaylen Nowell
Who was your toughest matchup of the season?
Hickman: Rainier Beach. They have players that equal the amount of talent we have and that makes it a competitive matchup.
Nowell: Playing Ingraham at Sammamish high school. It was the toughest matchup of the season because we didn’t get the opportunity to practice for around two weeks due to snow days which threw our team chemistry a tab. Having to come back from such a long unexpected break was a tough breakthrough.
What is your favorite gym in state to play in?
Hickman: Sammamish High School.
What are your aspirations as a player?
Hickman: Be successful in college. Play professionally. Help others with their game. Playing the game of basketball as long as possible.
Nowell: To improve every year physically and mentally as a basketball player. To play at a high Division I college. Then in the National Basketball Association.