Katie Nolan has pledged to go back to the future after Newcastle Eagles WBBL snapped up one of college basketball’s most sought-after post players.
The 23-year-old arrives on Tyneside with a reputation for her old school approach to bossing the paint.
And Nolan suits up for Noelia Cacheiro’s side on the back of a double double season with Seton Hill where she averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds per game.
“I’m a true back to the basket post player,” revealed the Illinois native.
“I talked to coach Cacheiro about the way I play and I think it’s something that struck a chord.
“She agreed that basketball’s been shifting away from that style of play in the last few years but it’s something I can bring to the table.
“I have a unique set of back-to-the-basket plays that I feel can really benefit Newcastle.
“I’m relentless in the paint and I play with a competitive spirit and drive that can help to motivate my team-mates.
“Having said that I’m a level-headed player and I know how to keep a ball game flowing.
“I won’t be coming to Newcastle all guns blazing. That’s not me. I’ll play my role, do what needs to be done and I can’t wait to get to work.”
Nolan passed 1,285 career points in her senior year at Seton Hill and pulled down an impressive 903 rebounds during a storied college career.
The 6ft 1in forward converted more than 55% of her shots and was named in the All-PSAC West First Team last season.
And Nolan follows fellow Seton Hill alumna Tiana Stewart to Tyneside as she prepares to make her mark on the WBBL and BUCS competition.
“Tiana is at Newcastle University and so she was the perfect person to talk about when I was thinking about the move,” explained the Eagles’ latest recruit.
“It wasn’t a hard sell — I’ve always loved the United Kingdom and it’s been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to live over there.
“Tiana just confirmed everything I’d heard. She told me all about Newcastle, what a great place it is and what’s happening basketball-wise.
“Talking to her suddenly made everything clear and I realised the Eagles and Newcastle University are the perfect fit.
“I don’t arrive until the end of the month but it already feels like somewhere I belong.”
Nolan graduated with a degree in criminal justice and psychology and a dual court career beckons for the smart thinker.
“It’s an ambition of mine to testify in court and outline why someone may or may not be competent to stand trial,” she added.
“The criminal side of psychology fascinates me and I’m fortunate that I’ll be able to study for my Masters in psychology at Newcastle.”
Nolan hits the WBBL on the back of an ultimately frustrating final year with Seton Hill and Cacheiro has landed an ambitious player with a point to prove.
“Our season was over far too early and it didn’t end the way we wanted it to,” added Nolan.
“I came away from it thinking ‘I’m not done yet’. There’s a sense of unfinished business as far as my basketball career is concerned.
“I realised I wanted to play more and that this wasn’t the end of my basketball story.
“I spoke to my coach, found out about the players who’d already made the move abroad and put my name out there.
“I realised how much I wanted to pursue my career and education overseas and when Newcastle came calling it was the right conversation at the right time.”
Nolan will take to the court at the Vertu Motors Arena in pre-season as the Eagles tip-off against Leicester Riders’ women on 16 September. Tickets for the big BBL and WBBL Friday night double-header are available now from the Newcastle Eagles Box Office.